By: Neil Arwin Mercado, INQINQUIRER.net, 25 Sep 2019
MANILA, Philippines — Two minors, aged 14 and 17, were maltreated after being illegally deployed to Saudi Arabia to work as domestic helpers, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said Wednesday.
POEA administrator Bernard Olalia said the minors were among the distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were repatriated on Monday.
The minors were not only maltreated; the 14-year-old minor was also sexually abused.
The 14-year-old minor was recruited by LGH International Services while the 17-year-old was recruited by Side International Manpower Inc., Olalia said.
Olalia added that during an interview at their office, the 14-year-old minor revealed that her papers were processed in Cotabato City.
The pieces of information provided in her passport, the 14-year-old minor revealed, were fake. The passports were released by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Cotabato City.
The POEA administrator said they would be filing a criminal and administrative charges against the recruitment agency for engaging in illegal recruitment and human trafficking.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III has ordered the preventive suspension of the recruitment agencies pending the investigation.
“Apart from the administrative cases, sasamahan din namin ang minors na magsampa ng illegal recruitment case. Ito ay criminal case to be filed against the same persons involved sa kanyang deployment,” Olalia said in a press briefing at DOLE’s office in Manila./ac
[Apart from the administrative cases, we will also assist the minors in filing an illegal recruitment case. This is a criminal case to be filed against the same persons involved in her deployment.]