MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has pitched for the creation of a “stronger” task force that will implement the government’s strong measures against illegal recruitment.
During his prerecorded Talk to the People delivered Monday night but aired Tuesday morning, Duterte sought the establishment of a new anti-illegal recruitment unit that will be run either by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) or the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
“Gusto kong mag-create ng (I want to create the) anti-illegal task force [that will address the illegal recruitment],” Duterte said. “Either throw it to the police, ideally it should be CIDG or NBI.”
Duterte’s order came after Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III told him that his office’s efforts against illegal recruitment have borne fruit following the conviction of 32 individuals.
Duterte told Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to train personnel that will be part of the new task force.
“Give them about two months of lectures and training about labor laws and about crime, how to ano lang (conduct) the law of arrest, search and seizure,” he said.
Bello told Duterte that there is already a task force on illegal recruitment that is being headed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Duterte, in response, said the way the existing task force handles the issues on illegal recruitment is “too circuitous.”
“I would need a stronger itong sa ([task force] that will address the [illegal]) recruitment, whether it’s manpower or a very strong police punitive action,” he said. “If you can arrange one day kung ma-constitute na sila (to constitute the task force), and I will give the same lecture, about half a day so that preparado sila, hindi sila takot (they are prepared and not afraid).”
Duterte said it is unbearable to see overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) fall prey to illegal recruiters.
“So, parang masakit masyado (So, it pains me),” Duterte said. “Kasi itong mga walanghiya talaga ‘to. Iyong iba naaareglo (These [illegal recruiters] are shameless. They can escape liability) because they have the money, they have earned so much money throughout these years that kung may masabit sila, (that they can post) bail, although it is non-bailable.”
DOLE continues to protect the OFW’s welfare by implementing strong measures against illegal recruitment.
From July 2016 to July 2021, DOLE has also provided legal assistance to 124,458 victims of illegal recruitment, resulting in the convictions of 32 illegal recruiters. (PNA)