JUSTICE Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Wednesday issued a stern warning to immigration officers involved in human trafficking, saying that they will face the full extent of the law if caught.
Remulla made this message during a chance interview at the 1st 2023 Coordinating Meeting with Stakeholders held at the MIAA Function Hall in NAIA Terminal 3.
The event was organized by the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and the Bureau of Immigration, both affiliated with the Justice Department.
“Such actions are unforgivable, and we will employ the full force of the law against those individuals,” remarked Remulla in response to queries about immigration personnel allegedly linked to human trafficking.
Also, he urged the general public, particularly those considering overseas employment, to exercise extra caution to avoid falling prey to human traffickers.
“It is crucial for people to be aware and vigilant when accepting job offers abroad… as it is difficult to monitor. We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of those leaving our country, so we apologize for any inconvenience caused, but we are doing our utmost to streamline the necessary procedures. Furthermore, we aim to increase the number of counters to expedite the process,” Remulla explained.
The Bureau of Immigration has recently faced numerous controversies, with the “Pastillas Scheme” gaining the most attention. This scheme allows Chinese visitors to enter the country smoothly in exchange for bribes.
In the meantime, the IACAT has urged the public to exercise caution when dealing with recruiters, as previous investigations have exposed the exploitation of overseas Filipino workers by online scammers in nearby countries.
While recognizing the allure of overseas opportunities, aspiring migrant workers who fail to adhere to proper procedures run the risk of being subjected to abuse while working abroad.