MANILA - Two Filipinas, who arranged a marriage between a Filipina and a South Korean national for profit, were convicted in a Quezon City court, according to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.
The CFO said that Quezon City Regional Trial Court Presiding Judge Ralph Lee found Celia Rumusod Gorospe and Jinalyn "Anne" Jaicten Inao guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Republic Act 6955 or the Anti-Mail Order Bride Act.
Ivy Miravalles, officer in charge of the CFO's Migrant Integration and Education Division, said this is the first conviction since the Anti-Mail Order Bride law was enacted in 1990.
Both accused were sentenced to imprisonment of 6 years and one day to 8 years, and was fined P10,000.00.
The case stemmed from the complaint of a factory worker "Lara", not her real name.
Lara claimed that in November 2007, Inao recruited her along with other women to work in South Korea on the condition that they marry Korean nationals.
The following month, Lara and the women were accompanied by Inao to Cubao where they met Gorospe. It was Gorospe who arranged the "show up", a term they use when presenting the women to Korean men who are looking for wives.
When Lara was selected by one of the men, they were married the following morning. Inao and Gorospe processed the marriage license, marriage certificate and documents stating consent to marry.
According to Miravalles, they learned of Lara's case when she attended the CFO's guidance and counseling program for Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals.
"Kapag wala sila niyan, there's no way they can apply for a South Korean visa, spouse visa, or can exit the Philippine immigration at the airport. So it's mandatory," Miravalles explained.
Miravalles said it was through the CFO's sessions that Lara discovered false entries on her marriage certificate. She also realized that she no longer wants to migrate to South Korea to join her husband.
However, the two accused threatened her and forced her to pay for the expenses they allegedly incurred in facilitating the marriage.
"Usually ang victim walang money yan. Ang nagta-transact is the Korean and the middle man here," said Miravalles.
Lara worked with the CFO and the National Bureau of Investigation that led to the arrest of the two suspects in May 2008. However, the two were able to post bail, she said.
"We planned the entrapment operation and it happened in Cubao, Araneta area, kasi very persistent yung broker niya na singilin siya. Tinatakot na siya," Miravalles said.
Inao and Gorospe remain at large.