THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has recommended the indictment for human trafficking of eight foreigners who were arrested for cryptocurrency scam operations in Pampanga.
The DOJ said the eight aliens whose names were not disclosed will be charged before the Angeles City Regional Trial Court (RTC) for violations of Republic Act No. 9208, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act as amended by RA 10364 and RA 11862.
In a statement, the DOJ said the eight respondents underwent preliminary investigation after their arrest last May 4 during an operation conducted by a composite team of law enforcement agencies, including the Philippine National Police.
The DOJ also said the operation at the Clark Sun Valley Hub Corp. located at the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone in Mabalacat, Pampanga, resulted in the rescue of more than 1.000 employees, both foreigners and Filipinos, illegally recruited by the crime ring.
The DOJ said the Bureau of Immigration processed the foreign nationals for verification, identification, and biometrics and, so far, 936 of them have been given permissions to leave the Philippines with waiver of all the penalties and fees for alleged violation of immigration laws.
The agency also said 291 of the foreigners have been repatriated as of May 31.
It was noted that the verification, identification, and repatriation processes were done through the collaborative efforts of the DOJ-led Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) member agencies, pertinent embassies and non-government organizations (NGOs).
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla directed that the aliens rescued last May 4 would be placed under the custody of the Philippine National Police (PNP) pending completion of their repatriation papers.
The PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group was also instructed to secure the compound at the Sun Valley subdivision where the mass rescue occurred.
“This legal custody by the IACAT of the victims is pursuant to Section 17 and 17(A) of 9208, as amended by RA 10364,” it added.
At the same time, the DOJ said there were two petitions filed before the Angeles City RTC seeking the issuance of writs of habeas corpus for the release of five Vietnamese and two Chinese.
But it said, the RTC dismissed the two petitions and upheld the provisions in RA 9208.
Meanwhile, the DOJ warned the public against human trafficking syndicates.
“We reiterate our warnings to the public to be very wary of any and all forms of human trafficking,” it said.
It then urged the public to share information that may help rescue or assist victims.