‘Illegal recruiters’ arrested by NBI in Manila

National Bureau of Investigation

Two suspected illegal recruiters have been arrested while 26 of their alleged victims have been rescued during simultaneous operations conducted in Manila, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) announced on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

In a statement, the NBI identified those arrested last Oct. 7 as Joint Venture Resources (JVR) Placement Co. owners Rowena Lofamia and Paulo Quiza who were apprehended in their office in Malate last Oct. 7.

It said that those rescued were applicants for jobs in Kuwait.

The complaint against the owners of the recruitment firm was filed by persons who managed to escape from the firm’s accommodation house, it said.

The NBI said the “complainants lamented that the living condition in the accommodation house was poor and that they were prevented from leaving the premises.”

“Complainants decided to leave and requested for their documents from the JVR but Subjects refused to return the submitted documents and continued to padlock the applicants inside the accommodation house,” it said.

It pointed out that “withholding the travel documents of the complainants for monetary and financial considerations constitute Illegal Recruitment under Section 6 (k) of RA 8042 otherwise known as Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 as amended by RA 10022.”

“The deprivation of liberty of applicant workers also constitutes Serious Illegal Detention,” it added.

The complainants also told the NBI that JVR “delays our deployment to Kuwait despite the fact that all necessary fees were already paid by their respective employers in Kuwait.”

After their arrest, Lofamia and Quiza were presented for inquest before the Manila Prosecutor’s Office for serious illegal detention and illegal recruitment. Also named as respondent was Quiza’s wife, Annalyn.