DMW confirms it has filed illegal recruitment, estafa charges against Mabatid

 

Dollete’s letter to Labatt Mel Dizon confirming filing of charges against Mabatid

An official of the
Department of Migrant Workers has confirmed to Labor Attache Melchor Dizon that
various cases of illegal recruitment and estafa have been filed against PinoyCare
Visa Center, its chief executive officer Prisca Nina Mabatid and “her cohorts.”

In a letter
dated March 22 and forwarded to 13 overseas Filipino workers who were the first
to file complaints against Mabatid, Atty. Eric D. Dollete of the Migrant
Workers Protection Bureau said the cases filed all covered complaints filed
within the Philippines.

In the case of
the Hong Kong complainants, Dollete said the matter has been referred to the
National Bureau of Investigation “for case build-up and investigation.”

Despite this,
Dollete suggested that the cases be pursued in Hong Kong as well, as the crimes
alleged transpired in this jurisdiction.

Edwina Antonio,
case officer of the Mission for Migrant Workers which is assisting the Hong
Kong complainants, recently said that the Hong Kong Police is still actively
pursuing the case of fraud against Mabatid, her partner Russ Mark Gamallo and
OFW blogger Bryan Calagui.

The Immigration
Department is said to be looking as well into the complaint of illegal work
against Mabatid and her group as they came to Hong Kong to sell their student
visa scheme to Canada while on a tourist visa.

In the case of
Calagui, Immigration has twice summoned him on suspicion of violating his visa
conditions as he actively promoted Mabatid’s recruitment sessions twice last
year- first, in February and the second, in November 2022.

As a foreign
domestic helper, he is precluded under the law from taking up any work, paid or
unpaid, without permission from the Immigration Director.

At least 26
Filipinos have stepped forward to accuse Mabatid and her group of illegally
collecting about P132,000 from each of them, in the guise of offering them
student visas  to Canada which she
claimed, would allow the applicants to work five times a week and attend
classes only twice a week.

Videos taken of
the orientation sessions show Mabatid promising them a processing time of only
three months, and assuring them that she would lend them P1 million each as “settlement
fund” which they could present to Canadian authorities during the visa
application process.

It was only
after they had paid the processing fee in full that the complainants said they
realized they had been duped after they were given the run-around by people working
for Mabatid and two companies she controlled, PCVC and Opportunities Abroad.

The Senate
Committee for Migrant Workers headed by Senator Raffy Tulfo has initiated an inquiry
into the complaints, after more than 150 other Filipinos claiming to have been
similarly duped by Mabatid and her group, have sought help from Migrante
International, which in turn referred the cases to the DMW and the NBI.

An NBI agent
told the Senate committee that they had already filed a number of cases of large-scale
illegal recruitment and syndicated estafa against Mabatid, but has yet to
provide an update on this.

The Committee secretariat said it will  resume its investigation of the case against Mabatid and PCVC after the plenary break.

 

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