NBI busts recruitment firm preying on Mindanao minors

MANILA -- Authorities recommended the filing of criminal charges against officials of a manpower agency who preyed on minor females from conflict areas in Mindanao purportedly promising employment in the Middle East.

In a statement Tuesday, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recommended that officers of Advance Step International Manpower Services Inc. namely Ruel F. Lucas, Glenda S. Shammary, Fladys Sacueza, Joann Oliveros and Gleica Sacueza be prosecuted.

A suspect, Simplicio Punzalan, was presented to newsmen as a driver working for the recruitment agency and the owner of a house in Indang, Cavite where 17 female victims were rescued.

Dental forensic examinations showed six of the victims were minors.

In the case of the complainant whose name was withheld, she said a certain Hairia Ugan who worked for the agency recruited her.

However, she was denied departure by Bureau of Immigration officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1.

She, along with similarly situated victims, was then temporarily housed in the agency's accommodation houses in Ermita and Cubao before being moved to Cavite.

The victims were rescued in an operation last June 22. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency