Officers of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) intercepted on Saturday evening a human trafficking victim who assumed the identity of another person.
The victim, whose name was withheld in compliance with current anti-trafficking laws, hails from Cotabato but attempted to depart via Qatar Airways flight No. QR 931 at the Clark International Airport to work as a household service worker (HSW) in Doha, Qatar.
According to the report of Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) Officers Johnel Badua and Marc Danes Diego, the victim underwent primary inspection and was referred for secondary inspection after noticing inconsistencies in her statements.
She initially claimed to be 27 years old, and was being deployed by a Philippine Overseas Employment Administration-accredited agency as an HSW.
The victim reportedly had numerous inconsistencies when asked about her personal details. After further inquiry, she eventually admitted her real name, and also admitted that she was only 24 years old.
“These human traffickers go as far as providing their victims documents that assume the identity of others,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente. “This has to stop. They are taking advantage of our kababayan in the midst of a pandemic,” he added.
OFW with fake identity intercepted in Clark – BI
Morente shared that intercepted human trafficking victims are immediately referred to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation of their recruiters, as well as assistance in filing cases against them.
“We pray that cases of these victims push through so that those who victimize the vulnerable will find themselves facing the harshest penalties to finally end this modus,” he stated.
Meanwhile, BI warned foreign vloggers in the country not to engage in any activity violating the conditions of their stay.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente stated that he issued the reminder after noticing numerous foreign vloggers posting videos in the Philippines.
According to Morente, while vlogging in itself is not prohibited, engaging in endorsements or using their platforms to sell products could be considered a violation of the conditions of their stay.