OFW Exposes BI Personnel Allegedly Trafficking Her to Syria to Receive P50,000
An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) exposes Bureau of Immigration (BI) personnel allegedly receiving P50,000 to ensure her smooth entry to Syria.
Senator Risa Hontiveros shared a video testimony of a lady OFW who was hidden in the name of Alice. Alice was promised work in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, but find out during her layover in Malaysia that she was bound for Syria.
While exposing the anomalies, Alice covered herself with a blanket in fear of getting caught by her employer. According to her, Ana, her recruiter, had paid BI personnel P50,000 to meet her and other trafficked women at the counter number 1 immigration desk in the airport.
She revealed that trafficked women including her have to pay P50,000 each to let them enter their specific country. Anna has to pay immigration first before allowing entry of your workers.
Alice said that there are people that would meet her at the gate, line number 1, and pass through the gate until she gets boarded. She recounted that the recruiter would even meet her at Rizal Park in Manila to settle the payment.
Arriving in Syria, Alice said she and other workers were met by staff from their recruitment agency and “imprisoned” them. Their cellphones were even taken from them, she added.
Twelve days later, Alice said her Syrian employer bought her for the US $ 1,000, physically abusing her. She added that she was even detained by his employer’s bodyguards, who she said was a relative of the Syrian president.
“Five months ko dito nakaranas ako ng pananakit kasi nagpaalam ako na uuwi ako kaya nagalit sila. Sinaktan ako saka ‘yung mga pangalawa, 2020, sinaktan ulit ako dahil nabasa nila mga email ko, kinuha nila kasi tumatawag embassy sa kanila na humihingi ako ng tulong,” she said.
Alice added that she only received half of her promised salary of $400. Hontiveros said what happened to Alice was similar to “modern-day slavery.” She even said that Alice would work from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. the next day.
Hontiveros said he officially asked the BI to provide his office with the names of immigration officials featured in Alice’s passport, which is now mentioned to be used in the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.
The senator added that her office may have two other testimonies of the women exchanged that they will present at the upcoming Senate hearing. These brothers, he said, did not get consent to be brought to Syria and were further abused.
As a result, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente supports the Senate investigation into the trafficked women. Morente vowed to bring to justice immigration officials involved in the trafficking of Filipino workers.