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TRAFFICKING VICTIMS DISCOVERED POSING AS MISSIONARIES

June 20, 2015 ·  By www.immigration.gov.ph

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MACTAN, Cebu – Two trafficking victims were rescued by the Bureau of Immigration after being persuaded by recruiters to pose as missionaries last June 9.

The victims, whose names are withheld for their safety, attempted to depart for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia via Air Asia. They were being escorted by a certain Jefferson Cal, who claimed to be a pastor of the Genesis Church of Christ.

However, upon investigation, Immigration Officer Jedda Reuyan and Jerica Laurito noticed inconsistencies in their statements.

The two victims later admitted that they were recruited by a certain Brother Panisilyam Santiago, a Malaysian national, to work as caregivers in Malaysia. They were promised that their documents will be legalized once they reach Malaysia.

Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison warned Filipinos not to fall such modus by illegal recruiters. “We are strengthening our fight against human trafficking and illegal recruitment,” he said. “These illegal recruiters promise greener pastures, but in many cases, workers end up underpaid and working in inhumane conditions,” he added.

Both victims were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for further investigation. Their escort was likewise invited for questioning.

In 2011, the bureau prevented the departure of six female victims who posed as nuns in an attempt to work illegally as housemaids in Lebanon.

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