ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/6 Oct) – A total of 210 Filipinos who were illegally staying in Malaysia have been deported by authorities there, arriving in this city Wednesday.
They arrived here aboard a commercial ferry that plies the Zamboanga-Malaysia route via Sandakan, Sabah, days before Malaysia’s Oct. 10 deadline to either produce legal papers or get arrested.
They were the second batch of recent deportees sent home through this city as 226 arrived last week, also via Sandakan.
Abdurajul Abduhalim, of the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) who met the deportees at the port of Zamboanga, said they will temporarily be housed at the DSWD’s Processing Center for Displaced Persons. They will be later sent home to their respective points, he added.
The Malaysian government has given the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens working there – 45,894 of them Filipinos – up to Oct. 10 to legalize their stay or face arrest and deportation.
In another development, 60 women who were victims of human trafficking also arrived here from Malaysia last Sept. 28. They are now under the care of the DSWD’s Processing Center for Displaced Persons.
Dominic Sanchez, of DSWD’s information office, said the victims were recruited last March and were promised good paying jobs in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Sanchez said some of the victims revealed that they were recruited through the Internet and were asked to submit resumes and other documents to an agency at different times.
The victims, upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), were directed by a “contact” to go to this city where they will eventually be sent to their respective destinations, Sanchez said.
The victims traveled to Bongao, Tawi-tawi and finally to Sandakan where they stayed for a week at a safe house awaiting employment, he said.
The victims, however, were arrested even before they got employed, then deployed last week. (MindaNews)