Illegal recruiter nabbed in North Cotabato

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/6 June) – Police operatives nabbed over the weekend a suspected illegal recruiter in Kabacan, North Cotabato.

Corazon Andaya, 53, is reportedly working for a certain Zenaida Juan, who owns the recruitment agency based in Quezon City. Juan is still at large although a warrant for her arrest has already been issued.

Andaya did not resist when arrested inside her house at Purok Masagana in Poblacion, Kabacan, around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Insp. Edwin Lacostales, team leader of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Cotabato. “We just showed her the warrants of arrest issued by the court and told her of her rights under existing laws,” he added.

Her office, according to Lacostales, is only 50 meters away from the Kabacan municipal police station.

Andaya was reportedly with Juan’s secretary when the arrest was made. The CIDG later released the secretary whom they refused to identify as there was no order to arrest her.

Andaya and Juan were charged of eight counts of illegal recruitment in large-scale, four of which have no bail bond recommended.

The CIDG said Juan resides at Unit 117B, third floor of Saint Andrew Building at Quirino Highway, Largo, Quezon City.

Andaya, in an interview, denied the charges, saying her only task was to accept the papers of those interested to get student or tourist visa for the United Kingdom and other European countries.

“Ours is just a consultancy firm. We are not a recruitment or placement agency. We only facilitate those who want to travel to UK and other countries in Europe using student or tourist visas,” said Andaya.

She explained that those who filed cases against them were those whose papers were rejected by the UK embassy for failing to comply with the necessary travel requirements.

Tears fell on her cheeks when told she would not be released from CIDG custody unless the court tells so.

In the meantime, Lacostales said he would turnover the arrest warrants and present Andaya to Regional Trial Court Branch 22 Judge Laureano Alzate in Kabacan.

The CIDG is expecting that more victims would come up and file charges against Andaya and Juan when reports about the arrest get published. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)