Press Release
January 20, 2023

Hontiveros: BI officials still allegedly involved in human trafficking of Pinoys to Cambodia

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday said that Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials in Clark airport are allegedly involved in the outbound human trafficking of Filipinos to Cambodia.

Recruiters would reportedly pay around P75,000 - P100,000 to immigration officers for every Filipino that they allow to exit without question. The senator said the information came from Miles*, one of the Filipinos trafficked to Cambodia to work as a cryptocurrency scammer for a Chinese mafia.

"Kung totoo, nakakalungkot na mismong mga empleyado ng gobyerno ang siyang nagpapahamak sa kapwa nating Pilipino. Our Senate inquiries on the Pastillas scam resulted in the indictment of a number of BI officials, but it seems there are still groups or individuals within the agency who will stop at nothing to make an easy buck," Hontiveros said.

Miles shared that some of her fellow trafficking victims were instructed to exit the country from Clark, Pampanga, as the agent who recruited them had contacts with immigration officers in that airport.

"Sa Clark, may escort po sila na immigration. May agent po doon na nagbubook ng ticket at may contact na po doon mismo sa immigration officer. Hindi na iniinterview, wala na rin documents na hinihingi basta tinatatakan na lang po diretso ... Ituturo kung anong booth ka pipila, igaguide ka nila," Miles revealed.

Hontiveros said immigration officials and airport terminal managers, among others, will be invited to the upcoming hearing of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality to tackle the incessant cases of outbound human trafficking of Filipinos.

"It is the duty of airport and immigration officers to be the last line of defense against the trafficking of our citizens. Sila ang makakapigil sa paglabas ng mga Pilipino papunta sa mga sindikato sa ibang bansa. Ang nangyayari, tila sila pa ang nagtutulak sa mga Pinoy na mapahamak," Hontiveros said.

"Mananagot ang sinumang mga nakikipagkuntsaba sa mga illegal recruiter at mga sindikato para mambiktima ng Pilipino. Our Senate committee will spare no effort to ensure that accountability be established and justice served," Hontiveros concluded.

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