Illegal Recruiters of Entertainers nabbed by NBI

Tuesday, 6 August 2013 0 comments

Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Bulacan arrested four illegal labor recruiters who promised several women jobs as entertainers overseas last week.

The NBI identified the suspects as: Marcial Ronquillo Bernardo, Masakazi Hiratsuka, Nobuharu Kobatake, and Teroo Tsuda from Tokyo, Japan.

The complainants are Lovely Sanchez, Diane V. Berna, and nine other young women mostly from Hagonoy and Malolos, Bulacan, as well as from Valenzuela City and Pampanga.

According to investigation by the NBI-Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTRAD), on July 29, 2013, it received a complaint from Diane V. Bernal and companion that suspect Bernardo has been recruiting models and other entertainers bound for Malaysia and Japan.

When they went to Bernardo’s residence in Hagonoy, Bulacan on July 25, 2012, to audition, they were asked to come back on July 30, 2013. He said his Japanese friends who would want to see them and choose who would be sent to Japan for employment had not yet arrived. There were other women who were apparently being recruited for the same job.

The complainants doubted Bernardo’s capability to send them abroad, as he had no office to show and just holds audition for talents at his house in Hagonoy, Bulacan. Verification made with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) disclosed that Bernardo is not licensed to recruit nor deploy workers/talents abroad. This prompted the victims to seek NBI assistance.

Upon receipt of the complaint on July 29, 2013, an entrapment was planned the following day. In the afternoon of the same date, NBI-AHTRAD operatives went to Bernardo’s residence in Hagonoy, Bulacan.

The complainants went ahead of the arresting team to see Bernardo, and at
around 5 p.m., one of the complainants texted the team leader of the NBI–AHTRAD informing of their presence in Bernardo’s residence.

When the NBI agents arrived, they confronted Bernardo, who was at that time interviewing some of the women applicants. He was informed that he was illegally recruiting overseas workers having no license to do so. Subsequently, he was placed under arrest together with the three Japanese nationals who were with him. They were brought to the NBI office for booking and detention.

There were at least ten other women who were being recruited by Bernardo and the said three 3 Japanese nationals at the time of the raid. During the cursory search conducted, pictures of applicants, employment contract, passports, and schedule of payments to Bernardo were found.

On July 31, 2013, charges for violation of Section 6 of R.A. 8042 otherwise known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, as amended were filed before Inquest Prosecutor of the Department of Justice.
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