BUREAU of Immigration (BI) officers assigned at the Zamboanga International Seaport (ZIS) reported the arrival of two trafficked deportees from Sandakan, Sabah.
BI’s immigration border protection and enforcement section (I-PROBES) ZIS Terminal Head Usman Sabdani reported the arrival of two Filipinas last January 25 on board MV Antonia I.
The women were part of a group of Filipino deportees who were sent back by Malaysia for various offenses.
The duo, however, were found to have been trafficked to Malaysia with one of them being recruited via social media.
One of the female victims left with her ex-partner, a Malaysian national, bound for Kota Kinabalu. She ended up working illegally to help her partner, but was later arrested after a raid done by authorities.
“Hindi ko po kaya sa loob ng kulungan, ang hirap talaga. Sa totoo lang po, noon pa man gusto ko nang umuwi ng Pilipinas,” she recounted.
The other victim shared that her travel was facilitated by her recruiter, who flew with her to Malaysia in the guise of being legitimate tourists. She admitted to having been recruited via Facebook, and ended up as a restaurant worker.
“Na-suspinde po ako sa trabaho at mahigit 3 days po akong hindi pinalabas sa quarters namin,” said the female victim. “Hindi ko na din po kaya mag work doon,” she added, sharing that the strenuous work schedule left her physically weakened.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco again reminded aspiring overseas Filipino workers not to accept offers of traffickers and illegal recruiters.
“These offers of illegal recruiters to facilitate your travel would only increase your vulnerabilities of exploitation,” said Tansingco. “We remind aspiring OFWs to only accept offers through legitimate channels, through the Department of Migrant Workers,” he added.