DOLE Pushes Death Penalty for Illegal Recruitment

With more Filipino job applicants falling as victims of illegal recruitment, the Department of Labor and Employment is pushing for the offense to be included in the list of crimes punishable by death.

According to a report by Philippine Star, Labor secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said she is calling on the incoming administration of Rodrigo Duterte to look into the possibility of imposing capital punishment against illegal recruiters noting that Duterte’s major thrust is combating crime.

Baldoz plans to submit to her successor a plan calling for tougher penalties for syndicated illegal recruitment. The current penalty for three or more people conspiring to commit illegal recruitment is life sentence, according to the amended Migrant Workers Act.

“The law already provides the highest penalty of life imprisonment since it is considered as economic sabotage. So the death penalty for illegal recruitment could be considered,” Baldoz told reporters.

“Since many aspiring overseas Filipino workers are being victimized, illegal recruitment can already be considered a syndicated or heinous crime,” she added.

Duterte has earlier made his plans clear to restore death penalty for heinous crimes upon his assumption to presidency on June 30. He said capital punishment should be imposed on criminals involved in illegal drugs, contract killings and other “heinous crimes” like rape and robbery with murder.

Although the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has recorded a decline in the number of cases of illegal recruitment being filed before the agency, POEA chief Hans Leo Cacdac said the government still needs to adopt an intensified campaign against illegal recruitment.

Baldoz also said the Duterte administration may also opt to promote return migration since there are now numerous jobs available locally.