MANILA - An agency owner in Legazpi City was ordered to be imprisoned for illegal recruitment and for not refunding the money paid by an applicant it failed to deploy abroad.
Regional Trial Court Judge Elmer Lanuzo of Branch 6 found Lucille Manrique David, owner of JASIA International Manpower Services, guilty of illegal recruitment and imposed a penalty of imprisonment of 6 years and 1 day to 8 years and 1 day, and a fine of P200,000.
"Failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the worker in connection with his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment, in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the worker's fault" is considered an act of illegal recruitment as defined by RA 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995.
The complainant, Michelle Daep de Naag y Monreal, said that in September 2008, the agency enlisted her to work as a housekeeper in the US. However, after submitting the required documents and paying the placement and processing fees of P84,500, she found out from the US Embassy in Manila that the work visa for the position was no longer available for the Philippines.
As substitute, the agency owner offered her work in Canada, but the job in Canada did not push through.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) suspended the license of JASIA on May 5, 2009 because of the numerous complaints of recruitment violations filed against the agency, and on November 19, 2010, the POEA cancelled its license to recruit.
The complainant said she asked for a refund from JASIA after she heard of the suspension of the license of the agency.
Judge Lanuzo ruled that the suspension of the license was the principal reason why the accused was not able to deploy the private complainant to either Canada or the USA.
“It is therefore clear that the non-deployment of the private complainant for work abroad was not through her fault but through the fault of the accused-Lucille Manrique David, who by violating various provisions of the Implementing Rules and Regulation on recruitment and other circulars had caused her license to be suspended by the POEA,” the judge wrote in his decision.
The judge also found the accused guilty of estafa and was sentenced an imprisonment of 4 years to 12 years.
The court also ordered David to pay the complainant the amount of P104,500 as indemnification for consequential damages.