REGIONAL Trial Court Judge Soliver Peras yesterday convicted a woman from Butuan City for duping three job applicants into non-existing jobs in Greece in 2010.

Peras found July Grace Dumaplin guilty of illegal recruitment in large scale and estafa, and sentenced her to life imprisonment.

Peras also ordered Dumaplin to pay over P2 million as a fine.

“It was proven beyond reasonable doubt that the private complainants were deceived into believing that there were jobs waiting for them when in fact there were none,” reads Peras’ 18-page joint decision.

The case stemmed from the complaint that police filed against Dumaplin for estafa and illegal recruitment in large scale.

In December 2010, Dumaplin recruited Ethel Tapere, Allan Cosido, and Julius Cabantan to work in Greece.

Dumaplin promised Tapere and Cosido jobs in Greece as caregiver and utility workers, respectively. Cabantan, on the other hand, was promised a job as an accounting staff.

The applicants each paid Dumaplin P35,000 as processing and placement fees.

But after four years of waiting for their deployment abroad, the promise of work in Greece was not realized.

The convict was later arrested and jailed in Butuan City Jail for illegal recruitment and estafa.

Replying to the charges, Dumaplin, 32, denied recruiting the complainants.

She said she did not know the applicants and that she could not think of any reason for them to file the case against her.

Peras, however, gave weight to the prosecution witnesses’ testimonies for being “spontaneous, straightforward, and devoid of any contradiction.”

Peras said that Dumaplin’s defense is mere denial.

“Thus, the mere denials of the accused cannot stand against the clear, positive and straightforward testimonies of the complainants,” he said. (GMD)