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Illegal Recruitment: A Global and Local Issue

Illegal recruitment is one of the most pervasive forms of fraud today. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration reveals that in 2010, the government handled 1,648 cases of illegal recruitment but it only acted and resolved 283, translated to 17.2% disposition rate, 1, 365 were pending at the end of the year. The increasing incidence of illegal recruitment is one of the biggest problem victimizing Filipino workers, in the country or abroad. Maria Otero, the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, emphasized that trafficking and illegal recruitment is one of the big problems of local and international communities as well. It is such a pressing issue because it deals with one of our most fundamental values. That is the basic freedom and dignity of every individual. Furthermore, the solution that she proposes is helping countries and governments create just societies, societies that are grounded in democratic principles that guarantee respect for human rights and that apply the rule of law. She explained, “whether we’re helping strengthen judicial systems or we’re denouncing human rights abuses or helping build strong law enforcement capacities or combating trafficking and illegal recruitment in persons, we’re aiming to help countries protect the individual citizens in their countries.” However, dealing with the issue is not an easy feat. Alcestis Abrera, a columnist, commented that the question of "balance" in terms of recruitment, regulation and protection of workers vis-a-vis market development and promotion has always been critical. This is because the concern over abusive recruitment practices and sub-standard contract terms and conditions often conflicts with the government's desire to realize tangible economic benefits: employment and foreign exchange. (Alcestis Abrera, Illegal recruitment: The Philippine Experience) But then it cannot be said that the government has been sleeping on its duty to protect the Filipino workers from exploitative practices. As early as 1975, the campaign against illegal recruitment received its biggest impetus when President Ferdinand Marcos directed the Ministers of Labor, Justice, National Defense, Foreign Affairs, Public Information and Tourism “to launch a massive and coordinated effort to eradicated the menace” to the public. LOI 324, which embodies this directive, is the basis for the creation of the National Council on Illegal Recruitment (NCIR) designed as a superbody in charge of coordinating the campaign to protect job-seekers against being victimized by licensed and unlicensed recruiters. From 1975 and to the present, the government has been harnessing exhaustive measures and control machineries.

At the present, the country maintained its Tier 2 status in the overall assessment for the country in the 2012 edition of the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, released by the US State Department on June 19, 2012. Such rank indicates compliance of country with international standards and agreements in the fight against modern-day slavery which involves human trafficking and illegal recruitment. Tier 2 countries are officially defined as "countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s (Trafficking Victims Protection Act) minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards." Though the country failed to attain Tier 3 rank, the report cited the Philippines' efforts in curbing this major problem. For instance, the country's budget for the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) was raised to an equivalent of $1.5 million last year, up from $230,000 the year before. The report also said the Philippines continues to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders, as well as initiate new programs to help their victims. However, one gray spot for the government's efforts is the failure to make progress on efforts to prosecute illegal recruiters, as well as issues in victim identification and protection. As such the TIP recommended that the country boost its efforts in anti-trafficking programs. Among the recommendations are the continued and intensified efforts to try trafficking cases here and abroad; 1. increase funding and training for government agencies dealing with the problem 2. address the backlog of cases 3. respond to new cases immediately and rigorously

4. pursuing criminal investigation and prosecution of traffickers.

What is Recruitment and Placement?
Article 13(b) of the Code defines “recruitment and placement” as any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers and includes referral, contract services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or not. Provided, that any person or entity which in any manner, offers or promises for a free

as amended.employment to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement. the individual or entity dealing with them shall be deemed to be engaged in the act of recruitment and placement. Any of the acts mentioned in the basic rule in Article 13 (b) will constitute recruitment and placement even if only one prospective worker is involved. locally or • • . as “any recruitment activities. (Article 13d of the Labor Code) Private recruitment entity means any person or association engaged in the recruitment and placement of workers. 267 SCRA 278) • Private fee-charging employment agency means any person or entity engaged in recruitment and placement of workers for a fee which is charged. including the prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34 of this Code. an offer or promise of employment is made. Furthermore. 267 SCRA 278) Is the number of persons dealt with an essential ingredient of the act of recruitment and placement of workers? The Court ruled that the number of persons is not an essential ingredient of the act of recruitment and placement of workers. 142 SCRA 664) Illegal Recruitment Illegal Recruitment is defined under Article 38(a) of the Labor Code. The words “shall be deemed” create that presumption. (People vs Panis. the number of persons dealt with is not an essential ingredient of the act of recruitment and placement of workers. (People vs Sanoron. The provision merely lays down a rule of evidence that were a fee is collected in consideration of a promise or offer of employment to two or more prospective workers. (Article 13c of the Labor Code) License means a document issued by the Department of Labor authorizing a person or entity to operate a private employment agency. from the workers or employers or both. in consideration of a fee.” (People vs Senoron. The presumption is that the individual or entity is engaged in recruitment and placement whenever he or she is dealing with two or more persons to whom. directly or indirectly. to be undertaken by non-licensees or non0holders of authority.

information or document or commit any act of misrepresentation for the purpose of securing a license or authority under the Labor Code. Definition—For purposes of this Act. contract services. illegal recruitment shall mean any act of canvassing. section 5: Section 6. which include the act of reprocessing workers through a job order that pertains to nonexistent work. 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines. or work with a different employer whether registered or not with the POEA.overseas. It shall likewise include the following acts. hiring or procuring workers and includes referring. whether for profit or not. (Article 13f of the Labor Code) RA No. any fee from the workers or employers. transporting. that any such non-licensee or non0holder who. testimony. directly or indirectly. a. . 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995. in a any manner. To give any false notice. work different from the actual overseas work. utilizing. has consolidated the various provisions of the Labor Code pertaining to illegal recruitment as applied to migrant workers. To charge or accept directly or indirectly any amount greater than that specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. non-holder. without charging. 10022. The following is its definition of illegal recruitment as amended by RA No. persons shall be deemed so engaged. promising or advertising for employment abroad. or for the purpose of documenting hired workers with the POEA. contracting. (Article 13e of the Labor Code) • Authority means a document issued by the Department of Labor authorizing a person or association to engage in recruitment and placement activities as a private recruitment entity. when undertaken by a non-licensee or non-holder of authority contemplated under Article 13(b) of PD No. c. To furnish or publish any false notice or information or document in relation to recruitment or employment. licensee or holder or authority. or to make a worker pay or acknowledge any amount greater than that actually received by him as a loan or advance. whether committed by any person whether a non-licensee. enlisting. Provided. b.

To substitute or alter to the prejudice of the worker. or for any other reasons. employment contracts approved and verified by the Department of Labor and Employment from the time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the period of the expiration of the same without the approval of the Department of Labor and Employment. For an officer or agent of a recruitment or placement agency to become an officer or member of the Board of any corporation engaged in travel agency or to be engaged directly or indirectly in the management of travel agency. Failure to actually deploy a contracted worker without valid reason as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment. j. To fail to submit reports on the status of employment. To engage in the recruitment or placement of workers in jobs harmful to public health or morality or to the dignity of the Republic of the Philippines. in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the worker's fault. and . To influence or attempt to influence any person or entity not to employ any worker who has not applied for employment through his agency or who has formed. departures and such other matters or information as may be required by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be considered an offense involving economic sabotage. To include or attempt to induce a worker already employed to quit his employment in order to offer him another unless the transfer is designed to liberate a worker from oppressive terms and conditions of employment. remittance of foreign exchange earnings. To withhold or deny travel documents from applicant workers before departure for monetary or financial considerations. f. or has contacted or is supported by any union or workers' organization. joined or supported. separation from jobs. g. l. other than those authorized under the Labor Code and its implementing rules and regulations.d. e. k. placement vacancies. h. Failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the worker in connection with his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment. i.

any amount greater than that specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed by the Secretary of Labor. (f) To engage in the recruitment or placement of workers in jobs harmful to public health or morality or to the dignity of the Republic of the Philippines. What are the recruitment? essential elements of illegal Illegal recruitment is committed when two elements concur: a) that the offender has no valid license or authority required by law to enable on to lawfully engage in recruitment and placement of workers b) that the offender undertakes either any activity within the meaning of recruitment and placement defined under Article 13b. (b) To furnish or publish any false notice or information or document in relation to recruitment or employment. (g) To obstruct or attempt to obstruct inspection by the Secretary of Labor or by his duly authorized representatives. or holder of authority: (a) To charge or accept.m. licensee. . ARTICLE 34. To allow a non-Filipino citizen to head or manage a licensed recruitment/manning agency. (c) To give any false notice. or to make a worker pay any amount greater than that actually received by him as a loan or advance. entity.It shall be unlawful for any individual. Prohibited practices. testimony. (e) To influence or to attempt to influence any person or entity not to employ any worker who has not applied for employment through his agency. or any prohibited practice enumerated under Article 34 of the Labor Code or the Migrant Workers Act for migrant workers and overseas Filipinos. information or document or commit any act of misrepresentation for the purpose of securing a license or authority under this Code already employed to quit his employment in order to offer him to another unless the transfer is designed to liberate the worker from oppressive terms and conditions of employment. directly or indirectly. .

Illegal recruitment committed in large scale. Illegal recruitment committed by a person who is neither licensee nor a holder of authority. 2. separation from jobs. Simple Illegal Recruitment • is committed where a person a) undertakes any recruitment activity defined under Article 13(b) or any prohibited practice enumerated under Article 34 and 38 of the Labor Code b) does not have a license or authority to lawfully engage in the recruitment and placement of workers. (i) To substitute or alter employment contracts approved and verified by the Department of Labor from the time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the periods of expiration of the same without the approval of the Secretary of Labor. departures and such other matters or information as may be required by the Secretary of Labor.(h) To fail to file reports on the status of employment. remittance of foreign exchange earnings. Illegal recruitment committed by a syndicate. (j) To become an officer or member of the Board of any corporation engaged in travel agency or to be engaged directly or indirectly in the management of a travel agency. and (k) To withhold or deny travel documents from applicant workers before departure for monetary or financial considerations other than those authorized under this Code and its implementing rules and regulations. and 4. Simple illegal recruitment committed by a licensee or holder of authority. placement vacancies. Kinds of Illegal Recruitment 1. 3. Illegal Recruitment in a Large Scale .

individually or as a group. . example when it is committed against three or more persons individually or as a group May a person convicted for illegal recruitment may also be convicted for estafa? A person convicted for illegal recruitment may also be convicted for the crime of estafa. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group. Illegal Recruitment by a Syndicate • Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another. that is the offense is committed against three or more persons. The principal reason for this is that the former offense is malum prohibitum where the criminal intent of the accused is not necessary for conviction. 2018. When is Illegal Recruitment considered as economic sabotage? Article 38(b) of the Labor Code. Saulo) Penalties Under Article 39 of the Labor Code: • a. (People vs.00) shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes economic sabotage as defined herein. The penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P1000. while estafa is malum in se where criminal intent of the accused is an additional element for conviction.000. People vs. provides that illegal recruitment shall be considered an offense involving economic sabotage if any of the following qualifying circumstances exists: a) when illegal recruitment is committed by a syndicate b) when illegal recruitment is committed in a large scale. creates illegal recruitment in a large scale. Elvis Sanchez.Aside from the two elements enumerated above. as amended by PD No. a third element.

000. at the discretion of the court. be deported without further proceedings. Section 6.000. and the forfeiture of the cash and surety bonds in favor of the Overseas Employment Development Board or the National Seamen Board. 8042. e. he shall. conviction shall cause and carry the automatic revocation of the license or authority and all the permits and privileges granted to such person or entity under this Title. Any person who is neither a licensee nor a holder of authority under this Title found violating any provision thereof or its implementing rules and regulations shall.00) nor more than Two million pesos (P2. section 7. Any persons found guilty of illegal recruitment shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than twelve years (12) years and one (1) day but not more than twenty (20) years and a fine or not less than One million pesos (P1.000. a. both of which are authorized to use the same exclusively to promote their objectives. In every case. c.000. in addition to the penalties herein prescribed. b. upon conviction thereof. partnership. suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than two years nor more than five years or a fine of not less than P10. association or entity. partnership.• b. or both such imprisonment and fine. • • • Republic Act No. the penalty shall be imposed upon the officer or officers of the corporation.000.000.00) nor more than Five million pesos (P5.00). upon conviction thereof. d.000. 10022. at the discretion of the court.00) shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes economic sabotage as defined herein. .000 nor more than P100. The penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of not less than Two million pesos (P2. and if such officer is an alien.000 or both such imprisonment and fine.000.000. “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995” as amended by Republic Act No.000 nor more than P50. association or entity responsible for violation. suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than four years nor more than eight years or a fine of not less than P20. If the offender is a corporation. as the case may be. Any licensee or holder of authority found violating or causing another to violate any provision of this Title or its implementing rules and regulations shall.

000. or the Department of Foreign Affairs.00). to engage.00) nor more than One million pesos (P1. in the business of recruiting migrant . In every case. he or she shall. lending institutions. the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). c. or other government agencies involved in the implementation of this Act. in addition to the penalties herein prescribed. corporations. or their relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.Provided. or the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).000. locally or overseas. training school or medical clinic.000. What is the citizenship requirement for persons. partnerships or entities to participate in the recruitment and placement of workers? • Only Filipino citizens or corporations. If the offender is an alien. directly or indirectly. Any person found guilty of any of the prohibited acts shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day but not more than twelve (12) years and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500. be deported without further proceedings. Are government officials and employees allowed to recruit workers for overseas employment? • It shall be unlawful for any official or employee of the Department of Labor and Employment. conviction shall cause and carry the automatic revocation of the license or registration of the recruitment/manning agency. partnership or entities at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the authorized and voting capital stock of which is owned and controlled by Filipino citizens shall be permitted to participate in the recruitment and placement of workers. That the maximum penalty shall be imposed if the person illegally recruited is less than eighteen (18) years of age or committed by a non-licensee or non-holder of authority. Are travel agencies and sales agencies companies allowed to recruit workers? of airline Travel agencies and sales agencies of airline companies are prohibited from engaging in the business of recruitment and placement of workers for overseas employment whether for profit or not. however.

for illegal recruitment in large scale may still be convicted of Estafa under para 1. Veronica Filog. in any manner. contract services. utilizing. as amended.workers as defined in this Act. Article 13(b) of the Labor Code defines recruitment and placement as “any act of canvassing. 442 (Labor Code). whether for profit or not: Provided. 442 (Labor Code). Elvis Sanchez. Nancy Fesset and Jerry Akia. FACTS: Accused-appellant was charged with violation of Article 38(b) of Presidential Decree No.R. promising or advertising for employment. Baguio City dated 24 July 1995 finding appellant Elvis Sanchez guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes of illegal recruitment in large scale and three (3) counts of estafa and sentencing him accordingly. locally or abroad. and includes referrals. No. 1998] NATURE: An appeal from the Decision of RTC Branch 6. hiring or procuring workers. except for the names of the complainants and the amounts involved. transporting. offers or promises for a fee employment to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement. substantially contained similar allegations after he promised employment or job placement in Taiwan to Alice G. enlisting. June 26. Art 315 of the RPC. for illegal recruitment in large scale and the corresponding five (5) cases of Estafa on 25 November 1993 under informations which. Kimay. plaintiff-appellee. vs. Said complainants all paid accused-appellant a substantial amount in view of said promise which never materialized. accusedappellant. Aaron John Acena. HELD: Yes.” The essential elements then of the crime of illegal recruitment in large scale are that: . [G. contracting. as amended. The penalties provided in the immediately preceding paragraph shall be imposed upon them. ISSUE: Whether or not an accused convicted of violation of Article 38(b) of Presidential Decree No. Cases PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. That any person or entity which. 122508.

These elements are present in the case at bench . (2) the accused has not complied with the guidelines issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. requiring them to undergo tests such as the trade test undergone by Jerry Akia. while estafa is malum in se where the criminal intent of the accused is an additional element for conviction. It is not disputed that appellant has had no license or authority to engage in job recruitment. It is the lack of the necessary license or authority that renders the recruitment activity unlawful or criminal.(1) the accused engages in acts of recruitment and placement of workers defined under Article 13(b) or in any prohibited activities under Article 34 of the Labor Code. individually or as a group. Conviction for the crime of illegal recruitment under the Labor Code does not preclude punishment under other statutes if some other crimes or felonies are committed in the process. have created an impression upon complainants that he is capable of providing them with work abroad. by reason of his false assurances. A license is that which is issued by the Department of Labor and Employment ("DOLE") authorizing a person or entity to operate a private employment agency. particularly with respect to the securing of a license or an authority to recruit and deploy workers. The elements of estafa in general are: (1) that the accused has defrauded another by abuse of confidence or by deceit. and (2) that damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation is caused to the offended party or third person. instructing them to comply with the documentary requirements therefor. The series of acts done by appellant of promising complainants employment abroad. Appellant is neither licensed nor authorized to recruit workers in Baguio City or any part of the Region for overseas work per the uncontroverted certification of the POEA to that effect.(a) appellant has deceived complainants into believing that he is capable of providing them with work abroad. and (3) the accused commits the unlawful acts against three or more persons. More than three complainants have come out to denounce appellant’s illegal venture. complainants have . a person convicted for illegal recruitment may also be convicted for the crime of estafa. using airline procedures for checking reservations and demanding the payment of fees for his services. and (b) that. while an authority is that issued by the DOLE entitling a person or association to so engage in recruitment and placement activities as a private recruitment agency. The principal reason for this is that the former offense is malum prohibitum where the criminal intent of the accused is not necessary for conviction. Thus. either locally or overseas.

Ganura was however never presented in the trial court. Erly Tuliao and Benilda Domingo were enticed by Arsenia Conse to apply for overseas employment informing them that she had a cousin who could send them to Kuwait as domestic helpers. she assured them that they could leave for Kuwait on different dates. The latter issued the corresponding receipts therefor. 1998] NATURE: An appeal from the Decision of RTC Branch 113.parted with money to their damage and prejudice . the prosecution presented Virginia Santiago. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. not one of them was able to leave for Kuwait. the four complainants. Decision of the RTC is affirmed. Pasay City on February 5. . Consequently an information charging accusedappellant with “Illegal Recruitment” was filed by the Prosecutor In addition to the complainants testimonies. in her capacity as an officer of the said recruitment agency. Article 315. Pasay City.000. Cely Navarro. Diamond Building.. Accused-Appellant. Apparently convinced they went with the latter to Room 210. On that occasion. accused-appellant assured the four that she could dispatch them to Kuwait and forthwith demanded P8. Again. the four filed the complaint for illegal recruitment against accused-appellant. 1992 where Arsenia Conse introduced the group to accused-appellant Delia Sadiosa. She resolutely denied having a hand in the illegal recruitment. Marcela Manzano. Nueva Ecija. Ganura who owned the recruitment agency called Staff Organizers.000. May 15. of the Revised Penal Code. Consequently. [G. DELIA SADIOSA y CABENTA. Libertad St. When they asked for the return of their money.500. a Senior Officer in the Licensing Branch and Inspection Division of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) who testified that accused-appellant was neither licensed nor authorized to recruit workers for overseas employment. No. FACTS: In Bayombong.00 for passport (P1. Plaintiff-Appellee. Accused-appellant herself took the witness stand and testified in her defense. The four did give accused-appellant the money demanded although on different dates. 107084. vs. However.that thereby can render appellant liable for estafa under paragraph 2(a). accused-appellant refused and ignored their demand.R. Inc.00 from complainant Cely Navarro).00 from each of them for processing fee and P1. Said Mrs. claiming that she merely received the money on behalf of one Mrs.

that the accused be informed of the technical name of the crime of which he stands charged. nor the effective preparation of his defense. such omission or lack of skill of the prosecutor who crafted the information should not deprive the people of the right to prosecute a crime with so grave a consequence against the economic life of the aggrieved parties. the essential elements of the crime of illegal recruitment in large scale which all are to be found in the information. the sum of P8. In the instant case.00.000. ISSUE: Whether or not an accused charged in an information of “illegal recruitment” with recital of facts appearing to be Estafa under Art 315 para 1 and 2 of the RPC be validly convicted of “illegal recruitment in large scale. Erly Tuliao y Sabado. Under the Code. the offense he had clearly alleged in its body.00.000. that the crime charged was for illegal recruitment in large scale.00. are as follows: .The trial court found accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the charge in the information and was sentenced to life imprisonment and pay a fine of P100. However. 38 (b) of the Labor Code and penalized in Art. What identifies the charge is the actual recital of the facts and not that designated by the fiscal in the preamble thereof. as defined in Art. Hence. the sum of P8. there is no need to specify or refer to the particular section or subsection of the statute that was violated by the accused. the prosecutor involved in this case should have indicated in its caption.00 and Cely Navarro y Manzano. the information filed against accused-appellant sufficiently shows that it is for the crime of illegal recruitment in large scale.000.000.00. No law requires that in order that an accused may be convicted. to avoid misconception and misinterpretation of the information. It is not even necessary for the protection of the substantial rights of the accused. What is important is that he did allege in the information the facts sufficient to constitute the offense of illegal recruitment in large scale. He must look to the facts alleged. the sum of P8. 39 of the same Code although it is designated as for illegal recruitment only. However. Marcela Tabernero y Manzano. the specific provision penalizing the act charged should be mentioned in the information.” HELD: It is well-settled in our jurisprudence that the information is sufficient where it clearly states the designation of the offense by the statute and the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense. The accused was likewise ordered to indemnify Benilda Sabado y Domingo. the sum of P8.000.

“(1) The accused engages in the recruitment and placement of workers. and (3) Accused commits the same against three (3) or more persons. These allegations in the information therefore do not render the information defective or multiplicitous. In the case at bar. (2) Accused has not complied with the guidelines issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.through false and fraudulent representation by pretending that she was a duly-licensed recruiter who could secure employment for complainants in Kuwait. but she was fortunate enough not to have been so charged. In other words. Nevertheless. accused-appellant could have been validly charged separately with Estafa under the same set of facts in the illegal recruitment case. that it accurately and clearly avers all of the ingredients that constitute illegal recruitment in large scale. or both such imprisonment and fine. this Court agrees with the Solicitor General that it merely describes how accused-appellant was able to consummate the act of illegal recruitment . The crime of illegal recruitment is malum prohibitum where the criminal intent of the accused is not necessary for conviction. a person convicted under the Labor Code may be convicted of offenses punishable by other laws.000 nor more than P50. these are: • Simple illegal recruitment committed by a licensee or holder of authority. there is no doubt from a reading of the information. The penalty imposed for such offense is “imprisonment of not less than four years nor more than eight years or a fine of not less • . while estafa is malum in se where the criminal intent of the accused is necessary for conviction.” Any person “who is neither a licensee nor a holder of authority” commits the second type of illegal recruitment.000. The law penalizes such offender with imprisonment of “not less than two years nor more than five years or a fine of not less than P10. individually or as a group. whether locally or overseas.” While on its face the allegations in the information may constitute estafa. It is apropos to underscore the firmly established jurisprudence that a person who has committed illegal recruitment may be charged and convicted separately of illegal recruitment under the Labor Code and estafa under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code. particularly with respect to the securing of a license or an authority to recruit and deploy workers. There are at least four kinds of illegal recruitment under the law (Arts 38 and 39 of the Labor Code). as defined under Article 13 (b) or in any prohibited activities under Article 34 of the Labor Code.

than P20.00 for processing of their papers. Mr.000 nor more than P100. Lim offered to accompany them to Engr. Diaz and that the requirements were bio-data. ENGINEER RODOLFO DIAZ. Diaz.000. A syndicate or a group of three or more persons conspiring and confederating with one another in carrying out the act circumscribed by the law commits the fourth type of illegal recruitment by the law. Paulo Lim explained to them that he was not the one recruiting workers but Engr. Remedios Aplicador. July 26. Their teacher was Mrs." she would refer them to Mr.00 for four hours daily work. particularly Brunei where they could earn a salary of "$700. Branch 10. Mr. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 112175. One day Mrs. Lim informed them that his children had already applied with Engr. Paulo Lim who knew one Engr. accused-appellant. medical checkup. passport. Erwin Diaz at the office .000 or both such imprisonment and fine at the discretion of the court.R.D. I. No.” • The third type of illegal recruitment refers to offenders who either commit the offense alone or with another person against three or more persons individually or as a group. 1993. plaintiff-appellee. [G. Erwin Diaz who was recruiting applicants for Brunei. studying Niponggo. of the Regional Trial Court. vs. and P2. Davao City. • For the third and fourth types of illegal recruitment the law prescribes the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of P100. 11th Judicial Region. Aplicador told them that if they wanted to go and work abroad. FACTS: In June 1992 Mary Anne Navarro. 1996] NATURE: An appeal from the decision dated September 2. Decision of the RTC was affirmed.500. Mr. Maria Theresa Fabricante and Maria Elena Ramirez were all enrolled at the Henichi Techno Exchange Cultural Foundation in Davao City. and income tax return.

upon inquiry by complainant Fabricante. Whether or not the lower court erred in convicting the accused of the crime charged.00 was to be paid by means of salary deductions. 2. the balance of P45. Engr. Diaz who was then being detained in the CIS Detention Center in Davao City because of a case filed against him. Diaz. The complainants complied with the requirements. Whether or not the lower court erred in finding that the accused not only confined himself to facilitating the passport and medical examination of the complainants but also promised them employment abroad.00 as placement fee. They asked Mr.000. medical certificate. passport. The amounts they paid for processing fees were all returned to them by Engr.00 for processing of the papers of each applicant. as defined under Articles 38 (a) in relation to Articles 13 (b) and 34 and penalized under Article 39 of the Labor Code. and he said July 18 (1992). Saturday morning. The requirements include four passport size pictures of each applicant. Diaz was not a licensed recruiter.500. P2. and P65. The complainants met Engr. 3.000. NBI clearance. The P2. RULING: The issues being intertwined shall be discussed together. The trial court rendered a decision finding the appellant guilty of the crimes charged. income tax return. but only P20. However.500. Whether or not the lower court erred in not finding that the accused was merely a facilitator of travel documents and not an illegal recruiter. Davao City. GSIS Heights.00 for plane fare was to be paid by each applicant. A case was subsequently filed against accused-appellant. ISSUES: 1. bio-data. 846-71. with telephone no.of the CIS. Diaz confirmed that he was recruiting applicants for Brunei. Lim when he was available. The three complainants withdrew their applications from Engr. Diaz without paying his charges. as amended by Presidential Decree 1920 and Presidential Decree 2018. is any . The crime of illegal recruitment.000.00 for processing of their respective applications was to be paid at the house of Engr. Diaz at 14 Aries Street. the POEA verified that Engr.

recruitment and placement activities of agents or representatives whose appointments by a licensee or holder of authority were not previously authorized by the POEA shall likewise constitute illegal recruitment. undertaken by a non-licensee or non-holder of authority. enlisting.[10] As can be ascertained after a thorough reading of the records. hiring or procuring workers. and 3] Illegal recruitment is committed against three or more persons individually or as a group. contracting. or any prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34. As to the third element of the crime. Moreover. locally or abroad. corporation or entity which has not been issued a valid license or authority to engage in recruitment and placement by the Secretary of Labor. . A non-licensee or non-holder of authority means any person. Article 13 (b) of the Labor Code. The elements of the crime of illegal recruitment in large scale. there were obviously three persons who were victims of the appellant's nefarious act of large scale illegal recruitment. The number of persons dealt with is not an essential ingredient of the act of recruitment and placement. the SC made the pronouncement that any of the acts mentioned in Article 13(b) will constitute recruitment and placement even if only one prospective worker is involved. and includes referrals. transporting. Provided that any person or entity which in any manner offers or promises for a fee employment to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement. which are undoubtedly present in this case are: 1] The offender is a non-licensee or non-holder of authority to engage in recruitment and placement activity. appellant Diaz was neither a licensee nor a holder of authority to qualify him to lawfully engage in recruitment and placement activity. contract services. Panis. utilizing. Article 38(a) clearly shows that illegal recruitment is an offense which is essentially committed by a non-licensee or non-holder of authority." In People v.” as follows: "Recruitment and placement refers to any act of canvassing. provides for the statutory definition of "recruitment and placement. promising or advertising for employment. whether for profit or not. revoked or cancelled by the POEA or the Secretary.recruitment activity. including the prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34. or whose license or authority has been suspended. 2] The offender undertakes recruitment and placement activity defined under Article 13(b).

Relative to the question of whether or not appellant Diaz was engaged in recruitment activity. it is clear from the testimonies of the three complainants that appellant undertook to recruit them. a certain John Doe and Aquilino Ilano before the National Bureau of Investigation. the Decision appealed from dated September 2.00 as placement fee. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. ISSUE: . On October 25. 1994 convicting appellant Editha Señoron of the crimes of illegal recruitment in large scale and three (3) counts of estafa. Trial thereafter ensued. vs. the trial court rendered a decision convicting appellant as charged and sentencing her accordingly. Virtucio and his companions were told by appellant to follow-up their applications at her office or at Padre Faura. In synthesis. 1994. when he (Virtucio) and other applicants applied for jobs abroad. 119160. hence. FACTS: Sometime in October 1991. Thereafter. considering the positive testimonies of the complainants against the negative bare denials of accused-appellant. with costs against accused-appellant Rodolfo Diaz. During the meeting at Ilano's residence. the amount of P20.R. appellant pleaded not guilty. 1993 is hereby AFFIRMED in all respects. Appellant failed to send Virtucio and his companions abroad. January 30. no other conclusion could be arrived at but to sustain the conviction of accused-appellant finding the latter guilty of large scale illegal recruitment beyond reasonable doubt. in the presence of appellant. Manila. EDITHA SEÑORON Y LIMORA. Cesar Virtucio met appellant at accused Aquilino Ilano's house in Malibay. [G. both at large. Virtucio and his companions were given job application forms which they filled up as told. Virtucio paid Ilano. Señoron and her co-accused Aquilino Ilano and one John Doe. he (Virtucio). together with applicants Ronilo Bueno and Greg Corsega. 1997] NATURE: An appeal from the decision Regional Trial Court of Pasay City dated October 25. When arraigned. were charged in four separate informations with one count of illegal recruitment in large scale and three counts of estafa before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City. accused-appellant. After paying the placement fee. filed a complaint for illegal Recruitment and Estafa against appellant. Pasay City.000. Appellant Editha L. No. plaintiff-appellee. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING PREMISES.

appellant concludes that the prosecution failed to discharge its burden of proof thereby necessitating her acquittal. RULING: In essence. and includes referrals. . two elements must be shown namely: (1) the person charged with the crime must have undertaken recruitment activities.Whether or not the lower court erred in not finding that the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the accused-appellant Editha Señoron beyond reasonable doubt in the illegal recruitment. contract services. evidence on record belie appellant's assertion that she did not engage in any recruitment activity and that the fees paid by the applicants were not turned over to her possession as shown by the following testimony of private complainant Virtucio. Appellant made a distinct impression that she had the ability to send applicants for work abroad. it is not the issuance or signing of receipts for the placement fees that makes a case for illegal recruitment. The SC was not persuaded. transporting. including the prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34 of this Code. And in this case. promising or advertising for employment. however." Article 13 (b) of the Code defines "recruitment and placement" as [A]ny act of canvassing. Socorro Landas representing the Licensing Division of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). which says that placement fees received by Aquilino Ilano from the three (3) private complainants was turned over to [her]". Illegal recruitment is defined under Article 38 (a) of the Labor Code. . as amended. as "(a)ny recruitment activities. Appellant asserts that she never issued or signed any receipts and that as a matter of fact "[t]he receipts of payment of alleged placement fees were received and receipted by accused Aquilino Ilano. whether for profit or not: Provided. or any of the activities enumerated in Article 34 of the Labor Code. enlisting. Thus. To prove illegal recruitment. locally or abroad. that any person or entity which in any manner. contracting. and (2) said person does not have a license or authority to do so. hiring or procuring workers. does not possess any license or authority to recruit which fact was confirmed by the duly authenticated certification issued by the Manager of the Licensing Branch of the POEA. as amended. to be undertaken by non-licensees or non-holders of authority. therefore. It is the lack of . (large scale) case. the centerpiece of appellant's defense dwells on the alleged insufficiency of the prosecution's evidence to prove her guilt as "[t]here is nothing on record . She. utilizing. offers or promises for a fee employment to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement. Contrary to appellant's mistaken notion. but rather the undertaking of recruitment activities without the necessary license or authority. and by the testimony of Ms.

Appellant told them the placement fee was P15. Appellant told private . 2002] NATURE: An appeal from a decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City. and then to undergo a medical examination.. 124443-46 June 6. and clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Appellant's residual arguments that she was just an accommodation maker in the issuance of the check and that private complainants failed to notify her after the check bounced do not merit serious consideration.necessary license or authority that renders the recruitment activity. vs. the alleged broker from the company in Malaysia that was interested in hiring the women. At the Jamila office. At the airport on June 6.R. FACTS: Private complainants JENELYN QUINSAAT. plaintiff-appellee. as in this case. pictures. accused-appellant.000 for each applicant. an immigration officer told private complainants they lacked a requirement imposed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). unlawful or criminal. which private complainants gave her. Branch 132. Private complainant Mejia testified that appellant told them they were not able to leave because their visas were for tourists only. On May 28. Nos. It has to be emphasized that appellant is not being prosecuted for violation of the antibouncing check law where the foregoing contentions may have an impact. Their passports were cancelled and their boarding passes marked "offloaded". private complainants met a certain Steven Mah. where appellant told them she was recruiting factory workers for Malaysia. NIMFA REMULLO. [G. 1993. and HONORINA MEJIA averred that they went to appellant’s house sometime in March 1993. private complainant Quinsaat testified that she and the others met with appellant at the Philippine General Hospital where appellant showed them their plane tickets. the recruitment agency where appellant worked. Private complainants were supposed to leave for Malaysia on June 6. ROSARIO CADACIO. the trial court's decision is hereby AFFIRMED. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Appellant told them to fill up application forms and to go to the office of Jamila and Co. 1993. Appellant did not issue receipts for any of the payments. WHEREFORE. 1993. Appellant also required each applicant to submit a passport. but for illegal recruitment which the prosecution was able to establish beyond reasonable doubt. Appellant also told them to fill up departure cards by checking the word "holiday" thereon. Mah told them they were fit to work.

and includes referrals. Definitions. locally or abroad. and each paid appellant the amount of P15. appellant Remullo was charged with Illegal Recruitment in Large Scale and Estafa. Hence. However. Such lack of authority to recruit is also apparent from a reading of the job description of a marketing consultant. Article 13 (b) of the Labor Code provides: ART. appellant was charged with illegal recruitment in large scale. transporting. (2) he or she lacks the requisite license or authority to lawfully engage in the recruitment and placement of workers. the following elements must concur: (1) the accused was engaged in recruitment activity defined under Article 13 (b). For such a charge to prosper. contact services. promising or advertising for employment. Nimfa Remullo is guilty of Illegal RULING: Yes. The trial court found appellant guilty of the charges against her. . in her personal capacity. was not authorized to engage in recruitment activities. The three private complainants filled up application forms at appellant’s house. That any person or entity which.xxx(b) "Recruitment and placement" refers to any act of canvassing. she acted without license or lawful authority to conduct recruitment of workers for overseas placement. offers or promises for a fee employment to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement. -. The POEA’s licensing branch issued a certification stating that appellant. the post that appellant occupied at Jamila and Co. 1993 but this. and (3) he or she committed such acts against three or more persons. enlisting.complainants they would be able to leave on June 20. 13. or any prohibited practice under Article 34 of the Labor Code. were enticed by appellant to apply for jobs abroad. whether for profit or not: Provided. denied that the scope of appellant’s work included recruiting workers and receiving placement fees. utilizing. individually or as a group. hiring or procuring workers. in any manner.000 as placement fee. 95-653. contracting. The Supreme Court was convinced that private complainants. did not push through. Evelyn Landrito. ISSUE: Whether or not appellant Recruitment in Large Scale. general manager of the placement agency where appellant used to work. In Criminal Case No. too. the main witnesses for the prosecution.

conformably to the well-settled rule that any party who asserts the affirmative of an issue has the burden of presenting evidence required to obtain a favorable judgment. The consideration for their recruitment ranged from P2. laborer. Branch 132. 1994] NATURE: An appeal from a Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City. plaintiff-appellee. Josefina Sarrion. that PD 2018 is inapplicable and that the appellants can only be held guilty of eight counts of illegal recruitment and penalized in accordance with Sec. Palau. fisherman. farmer. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.00 to P20.R. . Angeles of the Regional Trial Court in Caloocan City declared them guilty of all the charges in a decision dated June 4.WHEREFORE. accused-appellants. Federico Sagurit. After trial. Elena Santiago. Manuel Aquiban. Only Gilbert Fabrigas and Norman Sarrion (the son of Josefina Sarrion) were able to reach Korror but after three months. [G. Violeta Porte. Jesus Garcia. namely. ENRIQUE TAGUBA AND MIRAFE TAGUBA. The Solicitor General maintains in the appellee's brief that it was incumbent on the accused to prove that they were licensed to recruit workers. Enrique Taguba and Mirafe Taguba were both charged with eight counts of illegal recruitment and three counts of estafa in separate informations. Gilbert Fabrigas. Renelito Cerbito. during which they were not given any work. however. vs. 1990. Judge Adoracion C. master cutter. is hereby AFFIRMED. These witnesses testified that appellants approached them on separate occasions and assured them that upon their payment of a specified sum of money they would be sent to Korror. Makati City. January 10. FACTS: The complainants. Myrna Roxas.00 top $500. Danilo Pacheco. 19 He agrees. The required payments were made by them from loans they had contracted or from the proceeds of the sale of their properties.000. dressmaker. 95207-17. no overseas employment materialized. 39 (c) of the Labor Code. they were deported to Manila for expired visas. the appealed decision of the Regional Trial Court.00. Branch 121.00 while the promised monthly wages ranged from $300. The rest of the complainants were never even able to leave the Philippines. to work variously as a waiter. However. mason carpenter or macho dancer. narrated almost identical versions of the deception practiced on them by the accused. No.200.

Non-possession of a license to recruit is an essential ingredient of the crime of illegal recruiting. Fortunately for the prosecution. In the case before us. As it is an indispensable requisite for the conviction of the pretended recruiter. The Court agrees with the Solicitor General that the appellants cannot be convicted of illegal recruitment on a large scale because only two of the complainants. 2018. Chief of the Licensing and Evaluation Division of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency. Jesus Garcia and Elena Santiago. of the Rules of Court provides: Sec. A negative fact alleged by the prosecution need not be proved unless it is an essential ingredient of the offense.ISSUES: 1. the burden of establishing this element is upon the prosecution. the SC ruled in the negative. 2. took effect. the SC ruled in the affirmative. 1986. but this was never done. Whether or not appellants recruitment in large scale. Rule 131 Sec. 2. 2018 has amended Articles 38 and 39 of the Labor Code by providing inter alia as follows: . 2. the law defining and penalizing illegal recruitment in a large scale. categorically testified that their recruitment came after February 10. It had moved to present Cecilia E. Whether or not the prosecution failed to prove that appellants were not holders of licenses to engage in the recruitment and placement of workers abroad. Curso. — In criminal cases the burden of proof as to the offense charged lies on the prosecution.D. so she could testify that the accused were not licensed recruiters. P. On the second issue. The record shows that the prosecution indeed failed to establish that the appellants had not been issued licenses to recruit for overseas employment.D. This would have been a fatal omission under ordinary circumstances. however. This was the date when P. the prosecution cannot deny its failure to show that no license had indeed been issued to either of the appellees by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. Burden of proof in criminal cases. can be convicted of illegal RULING: For the first issue. this flaw was repaired by appellant Enrique Taguba himself when he testified.

— (a) The penalty of the imprisonment and a fine of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100. upon conviction thereof. A law is ex post facto if it refers to a criminal act. — . Illegal Recruitment. 2018 cannot apply to the appellants retroactively as it would be an ex post facto law to them.000) shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes economic sabotage as defined herein. enterprise or scheme defined under this first paragraph hereof. WHEREFORE.D. punishes an act which was innocent when done. and retroacts to the disadvantage of the accused. . xxx xxx xxx (d) Art.00 or both such imprisonment and fine. xxx xxx xxx (c) Any person who is neither a licensee nor a holder of authority under this Title found violating any provision thereof or its implementing rules and regulations shall. Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying out any unlawful or illegal transaction. 38. recruiting on a large scale was not yet punished with the penalty imposed in the said decree. . Penalties. at the discretion of the Court. suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than four years nor more than eight years or a fine of not less than P20.Art. Prior to the said date.000 nor more than P100. Illegal recruitment is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group. (b) Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in a large scale shall be considered an offense involving economic sabotage and shall be penalized in accordance with Article 39 hereof. . the appealed decision is AFFIRMED with modifications. P. 39.