Victims of convicted illegal recruiter Isidro Rodriguez urged the Philippine government to move for his arrest and extradition after he was recently sighted in Spain.
“We call on the Department of Justice and concerned government agencies to take urgent action,” said Engelyn Belmonte of the Gurong Umuusig kay Rodriguez (GURO) in a statement. “They should immediately coordinate with Spanish authorities to arrest and extradite Rodriguez.”
According to Migrante International, six OFWs have reported Rodriguez to the police in Spain since October 2014, a month before he was sentenced to 11 years in jail in Manila for illegal recruitment and estafa.
One of them, Kirsten Baculi, a domestic worker, informed Migrante International that she and the other victims only learned of the cases linked to Rodriguez last January and fear that he may have already left for Madrid.
Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairman, said they learned of the trafficker’s whereabouts after an informant sent photographs of Rodriguez while he was in Grenada.
“She (Baculi) informed us that she met Rodriguez in Grenada in October 2014. Along with five others, they were also duped by Rodriguez but unfortunately only learned about his cases and warrant of arrests in January 2015 through the Migrante website,” said Martinez.
“She said that they last saw him last December 2014 and have not heard from him since,” he added.
Rodriguez was placed under a watchlist by the Bureau of Immigrations after GURO requested for a hold departure order against him.
“We cannot fathom how he could have succeeded in leaving the country despite these and the existing unserved warrants for his arrest,” Belmonte said.
GURO filed a motion for reconsideration and a motion for urgent resolution before the Department of Justice after it dismissed the first batch of trafficking complaints against Rodriguez.
Even Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr. has vowed the embassy’s full cooperation in seeking justice for several of Rodriguez’s victims in the US.
Migrante International stated that at least 20 batches of teachers filed complaints against Rodriguez for allegedly collecting up to 500,000 pesos from each individual.
It also stated that Rodriguez had victimized at least 300 Filipino teachers from 2009 to 2014 and faces pending complaints from both the Philippine and US courts.