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[G.R. No. 173198, June 01 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. DOLORES OCDEN, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

Dolores Ocden was charged for illegal recruitment in large scale. The prosecution alleges that during the period from May to December, 1998, the above-named accused, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously for a fee, recruit and promise employment as factory workers in Italy to more than three (3) persons including, but not limited to the following: JEFFRIES C. GOLIDAN, HOWARD C. GOLIDAN, KAREN M. SIMEON, JEAN S. MAXIMO, NORMA PEDRO, MARYLYN MANA-A, RIZALINA FERRER, and MILAN DARING without said accused having first secured the necessary license or authority from the Department of Labor and Employment. The accused collected P70,000 each from the victims except for Norma Pedro who only paid for P65,000 as replacement fees. The prosecution presented three witnesses (Mana-a) and (Ferrer), complainants; and Julia Golidan (Golidan), mother of complainants Jeffries and Howard Golidan. Mana-a testified that, she and Dao-as went to Ocden's house to apply for work as factory workers in Italy with monthly salaries of US$1,200.00. They were required by Ocden to submit their bio-data and passports, pay the placement fee of P70,000.00, and to undergo medical examination. Ferrer narrated that she and her daughter Jennilyn approached Ocden through Alipio and were showed a copy of a job order from Italy for factory workers who could earn as much as $90,000.00 to $100,000.00. They submitted their passports and paid the corresponding expenses and fees for their applications. Ferrer, Jennilyn, and Alipio were supposed to be included in the first batch of workers to be sent to Italy. Sensing that they were being fooled, Ferrer and Jennilyn decided to get a refund of their money, but Ocden was nowhere to be found. Ferrer would later learn from the Baguio office of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) that Ocden was not a licensed recruiter. According to Golidan, the prosecution's third witness, sometime in October 1998, she inquired from Ocden about the latter's overseas recruitment. Ocden informed Golidan that the placement fee was P70,000.00 for each applicant, that the accepted applicants would be sent by batches overseas, and that priority would be given to those who paid their placement fees early. Golidan brought her sons, Jeffries and Howard, to Ocden. The two handed over to Ocden their passports and paid an amount of P140,000.00 for placement fees. After a lot of incidence occurred during their supposedly flights, Golidan and her sons asked for reimbursement of the money they paid. Golidan and her sons went to the Baguio office of the POEA, and they discovered that Ocden was not a licensed recruiter. Ocden denied recruiting private complainants and claimed that she was also an applicant for an overseas job in Italy, just like them. Ocden identified Ramos as the recruiter. Ocden recounted that she met Ramos at a seminar held in, Baguio City, sometime in June 1998. The seminar was attended by about 60 applicants, including Golidan. Ramos explained how one could apply as worker in a stuff toys factory in Italy. After the seminar, Comila introduced Ocden to Ramos. Ocden decided to apply for the overseas job, so she gave her passport and pictures to Ramos and underwent medical examination, and

completely submitted the required documents. Ocden denied deceiving Mana-a and Ferrer. Ocden alleged that she turned over to Ramos the money Mana-a and Ferrer gave her, although she did not indicate in the receipts she issued that she received the money for and on behalf of Ramos. Ocden pointed out that she and some of her co-applicants already filed a complaint against Ramos before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) offices in Zamboanga City and Manila. The RTC rendered a Decision finding Ocden guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes of illegal recruitment in large scale and three counts of estafa. The Court of Appeals affirmed Ocden's conviction in all four cases, but with modification. Hence, this appeal.

Issue: WON THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT IS GUILTY OF ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT COMMITTED IN LARGE SCALE. Ruling: Illegal recruitment in large scale Ocden contends that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that she is guilty of the crime of illegal recruitment in large scale. Other than the bare allegations of the prosecution witnesses, no evidence was adduced to prove that she was a non-licensee or non-holder of authority to lawfully engage in the recruitment and placement of workers. No certification attesting to this fact was formally offered in evidence by the prosecution. It is not necessary for the prosecution to present a certification that Ocden is a non-licensee or non-holder of authority to lawfully engage in the recruitment and placement of workers. Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8042 enumerates particular acts which would constitute illegal recruitment "whether committed by any person, whether a non-licensee, non-holder, licensee or holder of authority." Among such acts, under Section 6(m) of Republic Act No. 8042, is the "[f]ailure to reimburse expenses incurred by the worker in connection with his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment, in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the worker's fault." Since illegal recruitment under Section 6(m) can be committed by any person, even by a licensed recruiter, a certification on whether Ocden had a license to recruit or not, is inconsequential. Ocden committed illegal recruitment as described in said provision by receiving placement fees from Mana-a, Ferrer, and Golidan's two sons, Jeffries and Howard, evidenced by receipts Ocden herself issued; and failing to reimburse/refund to Mana-a, Ferrer, and Golidan's two sons the amounts they had paid when they were not able to leave for Italy, through no fault of their own.

G.R. No. 173473, December 17, 2008 People of the Philippines vs. Beth Temporada Facts: Beth Temporada is an accused for the crime of Large Scale Illegal Recruitment in whichthe prosecution alleged that the accused recruited and promised overseas employment, for a fee, to complainants Rogelio Legaspi, Jr. as technician in Singapore, and Soledad Atle,L u z M i n k a y, E v e l yn E s t a c i o a n d D e n n i s D i m a a n o a s f a c t o r y w o r k e r s i n H o n g k o n g . After collecting the alleged placement fees amounting to P282,160, it was also noted thatsuch placement fees are in excess of or greater than that specified in the scheduled of allowable fees prescribed of the POEA and without reasons and without fault of the saidcomplainants, failed to actually deploy them and failed to reimburse them the expensesthey incurred in connection with the documentation and processing of their papers for purposes of their deployment. The accused -apellant now contends that the prosecution failed to establish all the elements of the offense that were charged to them. Issue: What constitutes the crime of Illegal Recruitment? Ruling:
Article 13(b) of the Labor Code defines recruitment and placement thusly:ART. 13. Definitions. x x x(b) "Recruitment and placement" refers to any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, t r a n s p o r t i n g , u t i l i z i n g , h i r i n g o r p r o c u r i n g w o r k e r s , a n d i n c l u d e s r e f e r r a l s , c o n t r a c t services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profitor not: Provided, That any person or entity which, in any manner, offers or promises for afee, employment to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement.It was held that to constitute illegal recruitment in large scale, three (3) elements mustconcur: (a) the offender has no valid license or authority required by law to enable him tolawfully engage in recruitment and placement of workers; (b) the offender undertakes anyof the activities within the meaning of "recruitment and placement" under Article 13(b) of the Labor Code, or any of the prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34 of thesaid Code (now Section 6 of R. A. No. 8042); and, (c) the offender committed the sameagainst three (3) or more persons, individually or as a group.In the case at bar, all the elements were present thus the SC convicted the accused for thecrime of Large Scale Illegal Recruitment.

The crime of illegal recruitment is committed when two elements concur, namely: (1) the offender has no valid license or authority required by law to enable one to lawfully engage in recruitment and placement of workers; and (2) he undertakes either any activity within the meaning of recruitment and placement defined under Article 13 (b), or any prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34 of the Labor Code. First, the petitioner was found not to have been issued a license as proven by the certification from the DOLE-Dagupan District Office stating that petitioner has not been issued any license by the POEA and neither is it a holder of an authority to engage in recruitment and placement activities. Second, from the testimonies of the private respondents, it is apparent that petitioner was able to convince the private respondents to apply for work in Israel after parting with their money in exchange for the services she would render. The said act of the petitioner, without a doubt, falls within the meaning of recruitment and placement as defined in Article 13 (b) of the Labor Code. Finally, the Supreme Court noted that in illegal recruitment cases, the failure to present receipts for money that was paid in connection with the recruitment process will not affect the strength of

the evidence presented by the prosecution as long as the payment can be proved through clear and convincing testimonies of credible witnesses. Delia D. Romero vs. People of the Philippines, Romulo Padlan and Aruturo Siapno, G.R. No. 171644. November 23, 2011.