POEA Scandal

A former legal officer of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) a criminal complaint for violation of anti-trafficking law against officials and employees of the agency.

Charged for violation of Republic Act 9203, otherwise known as the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003”, were lawyers Alejandro Paaen, Director IV; Jesus Gabriel Domingo, and Marieta Labong Dela Cruz; Ernesto Viostro and Naigel Gabito, all of the POEA.

The complainant, lawyer Stephen Cascolan, former legal officer of POEA, said that he has documents showing that those officials and employees were responsible for sending Filipino workers abroad.

Also charged were Edgardo Wisco, of the World View International Services; Marichu Elagha, of Future Careers Recruitment Agency; and Amelita Villarosa, of Shanlene Manpower.

The respondents allegedly were able to send Filipino workers abroad, despite having an expired license, respectively.

State Prosecutor Lilian Doris-Alejo has set the case for preliminary investigation and ordered the respondents to submit their counter-affidavits on or before March 8, 2011. (PNA)

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  • 2012-09-21 at 2:49 pm
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    Cases vs POEA officers dismissed
    By SAMUEL MEDENILLA
    December 9, 2011, 7:03pm
    MANILA, Philippines — The Court of Appeals (CA) dismissed Friday the human trafficking cases filed against five officers from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Friday due to insufficient evidence.

    In a 15-page resolution, the CA dismissed the charges filed by another POEA official against his five other co-workers after failing to prove they deliberately delayed the implementation on the cancellation of licenses for three recruitment agencies, which allowed it to continue hiring overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

    It could be recalled in 2010, Worldview International Services Corporation, Future Careers Recruitment Agency, Inc., and Shanlene Manpower and Recruitment Services were still able to recruit 100 OFWs before the cancellation of their licenses was upheld by POEA.

    POEA Legal Counsel Chief-of staff Stephen Cascolan later filed human trafficking charges against the said POEA employees, whom he claimed collaborated with the recruitment agencies to continue hiring OFWs despite their cancelled licenses.

    However, during the hearing the respondents were able to prove the delay was not intentional and was caused by the backlog in the implementation of orders being handled by POEA.

    Meanwhile, Cascolan also failed to present evidences, implicating connivance between the respondents and the said recruitment agencies.

    “In this case, respondents who are officials of the POEA were able to explain the delay in the implementation of the cancellation orders,” CA said.

    “Having sufficiently explained the delay in the implementation of the cancellation orders, this Office finds insufficient evidence to hold all respondents liable for violation of R.A. 9208 (Anti-Human trafficking law), and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. 3019)…it is respectfully recommended that the complaints against respondents be dismissed for insufficiency of evidence,” it added.

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