Illegal recruiter falls

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Thursday, April 24, 2014


DUBBED by the police as Baguio City's estafa Queen, Marilou Dimalanta, whose piles of cases involve swindling people's money, was finally accosted last week.

Originally from Bagong Barrio in Caloocan, Dimalanta uses the alias Marilyn Apilado. She has been wanted for six counts of estafa and seven counts of illegal recruitment filed against her by her victims.

Apilado, who was the second most wanted person in the region, was arrested by a team composed of operatives from the Central Intelligence Division, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Baguio City Police Office on April 15 in the afternoon in her residence at Purok 3 in Barangay Irisan.

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No bail was recommended by several courts for the 45-year-old secretary of Murakem Agency as her cases involved large-scale illegal recruitment aside from numerous cases of estafa for allegedly duping those wanting to seek greener pastures abroad.

Cases docketed in local courts show she has been engaged in illegal recruitment activities as early as 2010 and has recruited unknowing victims until 2014.

For four cases of large-scale illegal recruitment, Regional Trial Court Judges Emmanuel Rasing, Cecilia Dulay-Archog, Mona Lisa Tiongsan-Tabora and Antonio Esteves issued warrants of arrest without options for bail against the suspect on April 14, 2014; August 17, 2012; January 12, 2012 and August 11, 2010.

Other warrants of arrest for illegal recruitment and estafa from 2010 to 2014 were issued by RTC Judges Edilberto Claravall, Roberto Mabalot, Rasing, Tiongsan-Tabora and Esteves with a compounded bail bond that reached P376,000.

The suspect is now detained at the Baguio City Jail by virtue of the court orders.

According to BCPO spokesperson and deputy city director for administration Superintendent Andrew Cayad, another case of illegal recruitment will be filed against Dimalanta after another victim also recently reported to have been allegedly duped by the suspect.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Regional Director Delfina Camarillo advised those who are seeking various jobs abroad to verify the registrations of recruiting agencies as illegal recruiters are just waiting to sweet talk and swindle the hard earned monies of their victims.

The agency has been intensifying Anti-Illegal Recruitment and Anti-Trafficking in Persons seminars in the region to counter these illegal recruitment cases.

Records from the POEA show illegal recruitment cases received decreased the past two years due to continued crackdown on illegal recruitment operators. From as high as 52 illegal recruitment cases received by the agency in 2012 it dipped to only 31 cases in 2013 and eventually only 16 has been filed so far in the first quarter of 2014.

The cases involved some 73 victims duped of more than P2.2 million of their hard earned monies this year, while in 2013, some 142 individuals have been victimized by illegal recruiters divesting them of some P7.9 million.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 25, 2014.

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