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People v.

Melissa Chua Melissa Chua (appellant) was indicted for Illegal Recruitment (Large Scale) and was convicted thereof by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. She was also indicted for five counts of Estafa but was convicted only for three. The Court of Appeals, by Decision*1+ dated February 27, 2008, affirmed appellants conviction. The Information[2] charging appellant, together with one Josie Campos (Josie), with Illegal Recruitment (Large Scale), docketed as Criminal Case No. 04222596, reads: The undersigned accuses JOSIE CAMPOS and MELISSA CHUA of violation of Article 38 (a) PD 1413, amending certain provisions of Book I, PD 442, otherwise known as the New Labor Code of the Philippines, in relation to Art. 13 (b) and (c ) of said Code, as further amended by PD Nos. 1693, 1920 and 2019 and as further amended by Sec. 6 (a), (1) and (m) of RA 8042 committed in a [sic] large scale as follows: That sometime during the month of September, 2002, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused, conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping each other, representing themselves to have the capacity to contract, enlist and transport Filipino workers for employment abroad, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and knowingly for a fee, recruit and promise employment/job placement abroad to ERIK DE GUIA TAN, MARILYN O. MACARANAS, NAPOLEON H. YU, JR., HARRY JAMES P. KING and ROBERTO C. ANGELES for overseas employment abroad without first having secured the required license from the Department of Labor and Employment as required by law, and charge or accept directly from: ERIK DE GUIA TAN MARILYN D. MACARANAS NAPOLEON H. YU, JR. HARRY JAMES P. KING ROBERTO C. ANGELES P73,000.00 83,000.00 23,000.00 23,000.00 23,000.00

Of the five complainants, only three testified, namely, Marilyn D. Macaranas (Marilyn), Erik de Guia Tan (Tan) and Harry James King (King). The substance of their respective testimonies follows: Marilyns testimony: After she was introduced in June 2002 by Josie to appellant as capacitated to deploy factory workers to Taiwan, she paid appellant P80,000 as placement fee and P3,750 as medical expenses fee, a receipt[4] for the first amount of which was issued by appellant. Appellant had told her that she could leave for Taiwan in the last week of September 2002 but she did not, and despite appellants assurance that she would leave in the first or second week of October, just the same she did not. She thus asked for the refund of the amount she paid but appellant claimed that she was not in possession thereof but promised anyway to raise the amount to pay her, but she never did. She later learned in June 2003 that appellant was not a licensed recruiter, prompting her to file the complaint against appellant and Josie. Tans testimony: After he was introduced by Josie to appellant at the Golden Gate, Inc., (Golden Gate) an agency situated in Paragon Tower Hotel in Ermita, Manila, he underwent medical examination upon appellants assurance that he could work in Taiwan as a factory worker with a guaranteed monthly salary of 15,800 in Taiwan currency. He thus paid appellant, on September 6, 2002, P70,000[5] representing placement fees for which she issued a receipt. Appellant welched on her promise to deploy him to Taiwan, however, hence, he demanded the refund of his money but appellant failed to. He later learned that Golden Gate was not licensed to deploy workers to Taiwan, hence, he filed the complaint against appellant and Josie. Kings testimony: His friend and a fellow complainant Napoleon Yu introduced him to Josie who in turn introduced appellant as one who could deploy him to Taiwan. On September 24, 2002,[6] he paid appellant P20,000 representing partial payment for placement fees amounting to P80,000, but when he later inquired when he would be deployed, Golden Gates office was already closed. He later learned that Golden Gates license had already expired, prompting him to file the complaint. Appellant denied the charges. Claiming having worked as a temporary cashier from January to October, 2002 at the office of Golden Gate, owned by one Marilyn Calueng,[7] she maintained that Golden Gate was a licensed recruitment agency and that Josie, who is her godmother, was an agent. Admitting having received P80,000 each from Marilyn and Tan, receipt of which she issued but denying receiving any amount from King, she claimed that she turned over the money to the documentation officer, one Arlene Vega, who in turn remitted the money to Marilyn Calueng whose present whereabouts she did not know. By Decision of April 5, 2006, Branch 36 of the Manila RTC convicted appellant of Illegal Recruitment (Large Scale) and three counts of Estafa, disposing as follows: WHEREFORE, the prosecution having established the guilt of accused Melissa Chua beyond reasonable doubt, judgment is hereby rendered convicting the accused as principal of a large scale illegal recruitment and estafa three (3) counts and she is sentenced to life imprisonment and to pay a fine of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00) for illegal recruitment. The accused is likewise convicted of estafa committed against Harry James P. King and she is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of Four (4) years and Two (2) months of prision correctional as minimum, to Six (6) years and One (1) day of prision mayor as maximum; in Criminal Case No. 0422598; in Criminal Case No. 04-222600 committed against Marilyn Macaranas, accused is sentence [sic] to suffer the indeterminate penalty of Four (4) years

For purposes of their deployment, which amounts are in excess of or greater than that specified in the schedule of allowable fees as prescribed by the POEA, and without valid reasons and without the fault of said complainants, failed to actually deploy them and failed to reimburse expenses incurred in connection with their documentation and processing for purposes of their deployment. xxxx

The five Informations[3] charging appellant and Josie with Estafa, docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 04-222597-601, were similarly worded and varied only with respect to the names of the five complainants and the amount that each purportedly gave to the accused. Thus each of the Information reads: xxxx That on or about . . . in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused, conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping each other, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously defraud xxx in the following manner, to wit: the said accused by means of false manifestations which they made to the said . . . to the effect that they had the power and capacity to recruit the latter as factory worker to work in Taiwan and could facilitate the processing of the pertinent papers if given the necessary amount to meet the requirements thereof, and by means of other similar deceits, induced and succeeded in inducing said xxx to give and deliver, as in fact he gave and delivered to the said accused the amount of . . . on the strength of said manifestations and representations, said accused well knowing that the same were false and fraudulent and were made solely to obtain, as in fact they did obtain the amount of . . . which amount once in their possession, with intent to defraud, they willfully, unlawfully and feloniously misappropriated, misapplied and converted to their own personal use and benefit, to the damage of said . . . in the aforesaid amount of . . ., Philippine Currency. xxxx Appellant pleaded not guilty on arraignment. Her co-accused Josie remained at large. The cases were consolidated, hence, trial proceeded only with respect to appellant.

and Two (2) months of prision correctional as minimum, to Twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as maximum; and in Criminal Case No. 04222601 committed against Erik de Guia Tan, she is likewise sentence [sic] to suffer an indeterminate penalty of Four (4) years and Two (2) months of prision correctional as minimum, to Eleven (11) years and One (1) day of prision mayor as maximum. Accused Melissa Chua is also ordered to return the amounts of P20,000.00 to Harry James P. King, P83,750.00 to Marilyn D. Macaranas, and P70,000.00 to Erik de Guia Tan. As regards Criminal Cases Nos. 04-222597 and 04-222599, both are dismissed for lack of interest of complainants Roberto Angeles and Napoleon Yu, Jr. In the service of her sentence, the accused is credited with the full period of preventive imprisonment if she agrees in writing to abide by the disciplinary rules imposed, otherwise only 4/5 shall be credited. SO ORDERED. The Court of Appeals, as stated early on, affirmed the trial courts decision by the challenged Decision of February 27, 2008, it holding that appellants defense that, as temporary cashier of Golden Gate, she received the money which was ultimately remitted to Marilyn Calueng is immaterial, she having failed to prove the existence of an employment relationship between her and Marilyn, as well as the legitimacy of the operations of Golden Gate and the extent of her involvement therein. Citing People v. Sagayaga,[8] the appellate court ruled that an employee of a company engaged in illegal recruitment may be held liable as principal together with his employer if it is shown that he, as in the case of appellant, actively and consciously participated therein. Respecting the cases for Estafa, the appellate court, noting that a person convicted of illegal recruitment may, in addition, be convicted of Estafa as penalized under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code, held that the elements thereof were sufficiently established, viz: that appellant deceived the complainants by assuring them of employment in Taiwan provided they pay the required placement fee; that relying on such representation, the complainants paid appellant the amount demanded; that her representation turned out to be false because she failed to deploy them as promised; and that the complainants suffered damages when they failed to be reimbursed the amounts they paid. Hence, the present appeal, appellant reiterating the same arguments she raised in the appellate court. The appeal is bereft of merit. The term recruitment and placement is defined under Article 13(b) of the Labor Code of the Philippines as follows: (b) Recruitment and placement refers to any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring, or procuring workers, and includes referrals, contract services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or not. Provided, That any person or entity which, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee employment to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement. (emphasis supplied)

(b) Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be considered an offense involving economic sabotage and shall be penalized in accordance with Article 39 hereof. Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying out any unlawful or illegal transaction, enterprise or scheme defined under the first paragraph hereof. Illegal recruitment is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group. (emphasis supplied) From the foregoing provisions, it is clear that any recruitment activities to be undertaken by non-licensee or non-holder of contracts, or as in the present case, an agency with an expired license, shall be deemed illegal and punishable under Article 39 of the Labor Code of the Philippines. And illegal recruitment is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three or more persons individually or as a group. Thus for illegal recruitment in large scale to prosper, the prosecution has to prove three essential elements, to wit: (1) the accused undertook a recruitment activity under Article 13(b) or any prohibited practice under Article 34 of the Labor Code; (2) the accused did not have the license or the authority to lawfully engage in the recruitment and placement of workers; and (3) the accused committed such illegal activity against three or more persons individually or as a group.[9] In the present case, Golden Gate, of which appellant admitted being a cashier from January to October 2002, was initially authorized to recruit workers for deployment abroad. Per the certification from the POEA, Golden Gates license only expired on February 23, 2002 and it was delisted from the roster of licensed agencies on April 2, 2002. Appellant was positively pointed to as one of the persons who enticed the complainants to part with their money upon the fraudulent representation that they would be able to secure for them employment abroad. In the absence of any evidence that the complainants were motivated by improper motives, the trial courts assessment of their credibility shall not be interfered with by the Court.[10] Even if appellant were a mere temporary cashier of Golden Gate, that did not make her any less an employee to be held liable for illegal recruitment as principal by direct participation, together with the employer, as it was shown that she actively and consciously participated in the recruitment process. [11] Assuming arguendo that appellant was unaware of the illegal nature of the recruitment business of Golden Gate, that does not free her of liability either. Illegal Recruitment in Large Scale penalized under Republic Act No. 8042, or The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, is a special law, a violation of which is malum prohibitum, not malum in se. Intent is thus immaterial. And that explains why appellant was, aside from Estafa, convicted of such offense. [I]llegal recruitment is malum prohibitum, while estafa is malum in se. In the first, the criminal intent of the accused is not necessary for conviction. In the second, such an intent is imperative. Estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2, of the Revised Penal Code, is committed by any person who defrauds another by using fictitious name, or falsely pretends to possess power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions, or by means of similar deceits executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of fraud.[12] (emphasis supplied)

On the other hand, Article 38, paragraph (a) of the Labor Code, as amended, under which appellant was charged, provides:

WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby DENIED G.R. No. 184058. March 10, 2010

Art. 38. Illegal Recruitment. (a) Any recruitment activities, including the prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34 of this Code, to be undertaken by non-licensees or non-holders of authority shall be deemed illegal and punishable under Article 39 of this Code. The Ministry of Labor and Employment or any law enforcement officer may initiate complaints under this Article.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee vs. MELISSA CHUA, appellant DOCTRINE: (a) An employee of a company engaged in illegal recruitment may be held liable as principal together with his employer if it is shown that he, as in the case of appellant, actively and consciously participated therein. (b) Illegal Recruitment in Large Scale penalized under Republic Act No. 8042, or "The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995," is a special law, a

violation of which is malum prohibitum, not malum in se. Intent is thus immaterial. FACTS: An Information alleged that MELISSA CHUA violated Article 38 (a) PD 1413, amending certain provisions of Book I, PD 442 (Labor Code) in relation to Art. 13 (b) and (c ) of said Code, as further amended by PD Nos. 1693, 1920 and 2019 and as further amended by Sec. 6 (a), (1) and (m) of RA 8042 committed in large scale as follows: willfully, unlawfully and knowingly for a fee, recruit and promise employment/job placement abroad to ERIK DE GUIA TAN, MARILYN O. MACARANAS, NAPOLEON H. YU, JR., HARRY JAMES P. KING and ROBERTO C. ANGELES for overseas employment abroad without first having secured the required license from the Department of Labor and Employment as required by law, and charge or accept directly payment; that amounts are in excess of or greater than that specified in the schedule of allowable fees as prescribed by the POEA, and failed to actually deploy them and failed to reimburse expenses incurred in connection with their documentation and processing for purposes of their deployment. Tan and King testified that they later on found out that Golden Gates (recruitment agency) license had already expired. Appellant claimed having worked as a temporary cashier at the office of Golden Gate, owned by one Marilyn Calueng and maintained that Golden Gate was a licensed recruitment agency. The RTC convicted appellant for Illegal Recruitment (Large Scale) and three (3) counts of Estafa. The CA affirmed the RTCs decision holding that appellants defense that, as temporary cashier of Golden Gate, she received the money which was ultimately remitted to Marilyn Calueng is immaterial, she having failed to prove the existence of an employment relationship between her and Marilyn, as well as the legitimacy of the operations of Golden Gate and the extent of her involvement therein. Citing People v. Sagayaga the appellate court ruled that an employee of a company engaged in illegal recruitment may be held liable as principal together with his employer if it is shown that he, as in the case of appellant, actively and consciously participated therein. Respecting the cases for Estafa, the appellate court, noting that a person convicted of illegal recruitment may, in addition, be convicted of Estafa as penalized under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code ISSUE: Whether the Court of Appeals was correct in affirming the RTCs decision of convicting appellant for Illegal Recruitment (Large Scale) and three (3) counts of Estafa. HELD: YES. In the present case, Golden Gate, of which appellant admitted being a was initially authorized to recruit workers for deployment abroad. Per the certification from the POEA, Golden Gates license expired and it was delisted from the roster of licensed agencies. Appellant was positively pointed to as one of the persons who enticed the complainants to part with their money upon the fraudulent representation that they would be able to secure for them employment abroad. Even if appellant were a mere temporary cashier of Golden Gate, that did not make her any less an employee to be held liable for illegal recruitment as principal by direct participation, together with the employer, as it was shown that she actively and consciously participated in the recruitment process. Assuming arguendo that appellant was unaware of the illegal nature of the recruitment business of Golden Gate, that does not free her of liability either. Illegal Recruitment in Large Scale penalized under Republic Act No. 8042, or "The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995," is a special law, a violation of which is malum prohibitum, not malum in se. Intent is thus immaterial. And that explains why appellant was, aside from Estafa, convicted of such offense. G.R. No. 187730 June 29, 2010 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES versus RODOLFO GALLO y GADOT, FIDES PACARDO y JUNGCO and PILAR MANTA y DUNGO, DOCTRINE: To commit syndicated illegal recruitment, three elements must be established: (1) the offender undertakes either any activity within the meaning of recruitment and placement defined under Article 13(b), or any of the prohibited practices enumerated under Art. 34 of the Labor Code; (2) he has no valid license or authority required by law to enable one to lawfully engage in recruitment and placement of workers; and (3) the illegal recruitment is committed by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another.

Even with a license, however, illegal recruitment could still be committed under Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8042 (R.A. 8042), otherwise known as the Migrants and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995. FACTS: Originally, accused-appellant Gallo and accused Pacardo and Manta, together with Mardeolyn and nine (9) others, were charged with syndicated illegal recruitment and eighteen (18) counts of estafa committed against eighteen complainants, including Dela Caza, Guantero and Sare. The cases were respectively docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 02-2062936 to 02-206311. However, records reveal that only Criminal Case No. 02-206293, which was filed against accused-appellant Gallo, Pacardo and Manta for syndicated illegal recruitment, and Criminal Case Nos. 02-206297, 02-206300 and 02-206308, which were filed against accused-appellant Gallo, Pacardo and Manta for estafa, proceeded to trial due to the fact that the rest of the accused remained at large. Further, the other cases, Criminal Case Nos. 02 206294 to 02-206296, 02206298 to 02-206299, 02-206301 to 02-206307 and 02-206309 to 02-206311 were likewise provisionally dismissed upon motion of Pacardo, Manta and accused-appellant for failure of the respective complainants in said cases to appear and testify during trial. It should also be noted that after trial, Pacardo and Manta were acquitted in Criminal Case Nos. 02-206293, 02-206297, 02-206300 and 02-206308 for insufficiency of evidence. Likewise, accused-appellant Gallo was similarly acquitted in Criminal Case Nos. 02-206300, the case filed by Guantero, and 02206308, the case filed by Sare. However, accused-appellant was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt in Criminal Case Nos. 02-206293 and 02-206297, both filed by Dela Caza, for syndicated illegal recruitment and estafa, respectively. Thus, the present appeal concerns solely accused-appellants conviction for syndicated illegal recruitment in Criminal Case No. 02-206293 and for estafa in Criminal Case No. 02-206297. Version of the Prosecution (for purposes of recitation) On May 22, 2001, Dela Caza was introduced by Eleanor Panuncio to accusedappellant Gallo, Pacardo, Manta, Mardeolyn, Lulu Mendanes, Yeo Sin Ung and another Korean national at the office of MPM Agency located in Malate, Manila. Dela Caza was told that Mardeolyn was the President of MPM Agency, while Nelmar Martir was one of the incorporators. Also, that Marcelino Martir, Norman Martir, Nelson Martir and Ma. Cecilia Ramos were its board members. Lulu Mendanes acted as the cashier and accountant, while Pacardo acted as the agencys employee who was in charge of the records of the applicants. Manta, on the other hand, was also an employee who was tasked to deliver documents to the Korean embassy. Accused-appellant Gallo then introduced himself as a relative of Mardeolyn and informed Dela Caza that the agency was able to send many workers abroad. Together with Pacardo and Manta, he also told Dela Caza about the placement fee of One Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (PhP 150,000) with a down payment of Forty-Five Thousand Pesos (PhP 45,000) and the balance to be paid through salary deduction. Dela Caza, together with the other applicants, were briefed by Mardeolyn about the processing of their application papers for job placement in Korea as a factory worker and their possible salary. Accused Yeo Sin Ung also gave a briefing about the business and what to expect from the company and the salary. With accused-appellants assurance that many workers have been sent abroad, as well as the presence of the two (2) Korean nationals and upon being shown the visas procured for the deployed workers, Dela Caza was convinced to part with his money. Thus, on May 29, 2001, he paid Forty-Five Thousand Pesos (PhP 45,000) to MPM Agency through accused-appellant Gallo who, while in the presence of Pacardo, Manta and Mardeolyn, issued and signed Official Receipt No. 401. Two (2) weeks after paying MPM Agency, Dela Caza went back to the agencys office in Malate, Manila only to discover that the office had moved to a new location at Batangas Street, Brgy. San Isidro, Makati. He proceeded to the new address and found out that the agency was renamed to New Filipino Manpower Development & Services, Inc. (New Filipino). At the new office, he talked to Pacardo, Manta, Mardeolyn, Lulu Mendanes and accused-appellant Gallo. He was informed that the transfer was done for easy accessibility to clients and for the purpose of changing the name of the agency. Dela Caza decided to withdraw his application and recover the amount he paid but Mardeolyn, Pacardo, Manta and Lulu Mendanes talked him out from pursuing his decision. On the other hand, accused-appellant Gallo even denied any knowledge about the money. After two (2) more months of waiting in vain to be deployed, Dela Caza and the other applicants decided to take action. The first attempt was unsuccessful because the agency again moved to another place. However, with the help of the Office of Ambassador Seeres and the Western Police District, they were able to locate the new address at 500 Prudential Building, Carriedo,Manila. The agency explained that it had to move in order to separate those who are

applying as entertainers from those applying as factory workers. Accusedappellant Gallo, together with Pacardo and Manta, were then arrested. Version of the Defense (for purposes of recitation) For his defense, accused-appellant denied having any part in the recruitment of Dela Caza. In fact, he testified that he also applied with MPM Agency for deployment to Korea as a factory worker. According to him, he gave his application directly with Mardeolyn because she was his town mate and he was allowed to pay only Ten Thousand Pesos (PhP 10,000) as processing fee. Further, in order to facilitate the processing of his papers, he agreed to perform some tasks for the agency, such as taking photographs of the visa and passport of applicants, running errands and performing such other tasks assigned to him, without salary except for some allowance. He said that he only saw Dela Caza one or twice at the agencys office when he applied for work abroad. Lastly, that he was also promised deployment abroad but it never materialized. RTC rendered its Decision convicting the accused of syndicated illegal recruitment and estafa. CA affirmed with modification to the sentence in the the estafa case. ISSUE: WON CA gravely erred in finding appellant guilty of illegal recruitment and estafa. HELD: NO. Accused-appellant avers that he cannot be held criminally liable for illegal recruitment because he was neither an officer nor an employee of the recruitment agency. He alleges that the trial court erred in adopting the asseveration of the private complainant that he was indeed an employee because such was not duly supported by competent evidence. According to him, even assuming that he was an employee, such cannot warrant his outright conviction sans evidence that he acted in conspiracy with the officers of the agency. The Court disagree. To commit syndicated illegal recruitment, three elements must be established: (1) the offender undertakes either any activity within the meaning of recruitment and placement defined under Article 13(b), or any of the prohibited practices enumerated under Art. 34 of the Labor Code; (2) he has no valid license or authority required by law to enable one to lawfully engage in recruitment and placement of workers; and (3) the illegal recruitment is committed by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another. When illegal recruitment is committed by a syndicate or in large scale, i.e., if it is committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group, it is considered an offense involving economic sabotage. Under Art. 13(b) of the Labor Code, recruitment and placement refers to any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers, and includes referrals, contract services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or not. After a thorough review of the records, we believe that the prosecution was able to establish the elements of the offense sufficiently. The evidence readily reveals that MPM Agency was never licensed by the POEA to recruit workers for overseas employment. Even with a license, however, illegal recruitment could still be committed under Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8042 (R.A. 8042), otherwise known as the Migrants and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995. Sec. 6. Definition. For purposes of this Act, illegal recruitment shall mean any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring, or procuring workers and includes referring, contract services, promising or advertising for employment abroad, whether for profit or not, when undertaken by a non-licensee or non-holder of authority contemplated under Article 13(f) of Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines: Provided, That any such non-licensee or nonholder who, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee employment abroad to two or more persons shall be deemed so engaged. It shall, likewise, include the following act, whether committed by any person, whether a non-licensee, nonholder, licensee or holder of authority:

(a) To charge or accept directly or indirectly any amount greater than that specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, or to make a worker pay any amount greater than that actually received by him as a loan or advance; xxxx (l) Failure to actually deploy without valid reason as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment; and (m) Failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the worker in connection with his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment and processing for purposes of deployment, in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the workers fault. Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be considered an offense involving economic sabotage. Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group. The persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the principals, accomplices and accessories. In case of juridical persons, the officers having control, management or direction of their business shall be liable. In the instant case, accused-appellant committed the acts enumerated in Sec. 6 of R.A. 8042. Testimonial evidence presented by the prosecution clearly shows that, in consideration of a promise of foreign employment, accused-appellant received the amount of Php 45,000.00 from Dela Caza. When accused-appellant made misrepresentations concerning the agencys purported power and authority to recruit for overseas employment, and in the process, collected money in the guise of placement fees, the former clearly committed acts constitutive of illegal recruitment. Essentially, Dela Caza appeared very firm and consistent in positively identifying accused-appellant as one of those who induced him and the other applicants to part with their money. His testimony showed that accused-appellant made false misrepresentations and promises in assuring them that after they paid the placement fee, jobs in Korea as factory workers were waiting for them and that they would be deployed soon. In fact, Dela Caza personally talked to accusedappellant and gave him the money and saw him sign and issue an official receipt as proof of his payment. Without a doubt, accused-appellants actions constituted illegal recruitment. Additionally, accused-appellant cannot argue that the trial court erred in finding that he was indeed an employee of the recruitment agency. On the contrary, his active participation in the illegal recruitment is unmistakable. The fact that he was the one who issued and signed the official receipt belies his profession of innocence. This Court likewise finds the existence of a conspiracy between the accusedappellant and the other persons in the agency who are currently at large, resulting in the commission of the crime of syndicated illegal recruitment. In this case, it cannot be denied that the accused-appellent together with Mardeolyn and the rest of the officers and employees of MPM Agency participated in a network of deception. Verily, the active involvement of each in the recruitment scam was directed at one single purpose to divest complainants with their money on the pretext of guaranteed employment abroad. The prosecution evidence shows that complainants were briefed by Mardeolyn about the processing of their papers for a possible job opportunity in Korea, as well as their possible salary. Likewise, Yeo Sin Ung, a Korean national, gave a briefing about the business and what to expect from the company. Then, here comes accused-appellant who introduced himself as Mardeolyns relative and specifically told Dela Caza of the fact that the agency was able to send many workers abroad. Dela Caza was even showed several workers visas who were already allegedly deployed abroad. Later on, accusedappellant signed and issued an official receipt acknowledging the down payment of Dela Caza. Without a doubt, the nature and extent of the actions of accused-appellant, as well as with the other persons in MPM Agency clearly show unity of action towards a common undertaking. Hence, conspiracy is evidently present. ESTAFA

The elements of estafa in general are: (1) that the accused defrauded another (a) by abuse of confidence, or (b) by means of deceit; and (2) that damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation is caused to the offended party or third person.[15] Deceit is the false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed; and which deceives or is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it, to his legal injury. All these elements are present in the instant case: the accused-appellant, together with the other accused at large, deceived the complainants into believing that the agency had the power and capability to send them abroad for employment; that there were available jobs for them in Korea as factory workers; that by reason or on the strength of such assurance, the complainants parted with their money in payment of the placement fees; that after receiving the money, accused-appellant and his co-accused went into hiding by changing their office locations without informing complainants; and that complainants were never deployed abroad. As all these representations of the accusedappellant proved false, paragraph 2(a), Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code is thus applicable. People of the Philippines vs. Domingo Panis GR No. L5867477, July 11, 1990 FACTS: On January 9, 1981, four information were filed in the in the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Zambales and Olongapo City alleging that herein private respondent Serapio Abug, "without first securing a license from the Ministry of Labor as a holder of authority to operate a fee-charging employment agency, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and criminally operate a private fee charging employment agency by charging fees and expenses (from) and promising employment in Saudi Arabia" to four separate individuals. Abug filed a motion to quash contending that he cannot be charged for illegal recruitment because according to him, Article 13(b) of the Labor Code says there would be illegal recruitment only "whenever two or more persons are in any manner promised or offered any employment for a fee. Denied at first, the motion to quash was reconsidered and granted by the Trial Court in its Orders dated June 24, 1981, and September 17, 1981. In the instant case, the view of the private respondents is that to constitute recruitment and placement, all the acts mentioned in this article should involve dealings with two or more persons as an indispensable requirement. On the other hand, the petitioner argues that the requirement of two or more persons is imposed only where the recruitment and placement consists of an offer or promise of employment to such persons and always in consideration of a fee. ISSUE: Whether or not Article 13(b) of the Labor Code provides for the innocence or guilt of the private respondent of the crime of illegal recruitment HELD: The Supreme Court reversed the CFIs Orders and reinstated all four information filed against private respondent. The Article 13(b) of the Labor Code was merely intended to create a presumption, and not to impose a condition on the basic rule nor to provide an exception thereto. Where a fee is collected in consideration of a promise or offer of employment to two or more prospective workers, the individual or entity dealing with them shall be deemed to be engaged in the act of recruitment and placement. The words "shall be deemed" create the said presumption. Transaction Overseas Corporation vs DOLE Secretary Facts: From July 24 to September 9, 1987, Trans Action Overseas Corporation scoured Iloilo City for possible recruits for alleged job vacancies in Hongkong. Private respondents sought employment domestic helpers and paid placement fees to the petitioner ranging from 1K to 14K but petitioner failed to deploy them. Private respondents demanded refund but their demands were ignored so they instituted complaints against the petitioner.

On April 5, 1991, Labor Usec Confesor ordered that the petitioner refund the payments of the 33 private respondents. The petitioner was also held liable for 28 counts of violation of Article 32 of the Labor Code and 5 counts of Articles 34 with corresponding suspension in aggregate period of 66 months. Since the petitioners suspension exceeded 12 months, the penalty of cancellation of license was also ordered. Petitioner filed for Motion for Temporary Lifting of Order of Cancellation alleging that such would jeopardize its operations and affect the interests of the workers about to leave for their respective assignments. It manifested its willingness to post a bond to insure payment to the 33 private respondents. Cancellation was lifted on May 1991 but cancellation was reinstated in April 1992. Thus, the petitioner filed this case. Petitioner contends that the Secretary Confesor acted with grave abuse of discretion because it believed that the POEA has the exclusive and original jurisdiction to hear and decide illegal recruitment cases, including authority to cancel recruitment licenses.

ISSUE: WON the Secretary of Labor has the authority to cancel recruitment license? HELD: YES The power to suspend or cancel any license or authority to recruit employees for overseas employment is vested upon the Secretary of DOLE under Article 35 of the Labor Code. In Eastern Assurance and Surety Corp vs Secretary of Labor, the Court held that the Secretary of Labor has the power under Section 35 to apply the penalties of suspension and cancellation of license. In People Diaz, the Court held that: A non-licensee or non-holder of authority means any person, corporation or entity which has not been issued a valid license or authority to engage in recruitment and placement by the Secretary of Labor, or whose license or authority has been suspended, revoked or cancelled by the POEA or the Secretary. The power to suspend or cancel any license or authority to recruit employees for overseas employment is concurrently vested with the POEA and the Secretary of Labor. ESTATE OF NELSON R. DULAY, represented by his wife MERRIDY JANE P. DULAY, Petitioner, - versus ABOITIZ JEBSEN MARITIME, INC. and GENERAL CHARTERERS, INC., Respondents. FACTS: Nelson R. Dulay was employed by General Charterers Inc. (GCI), a subsidiary of co-petitioner Aboitiz Jebsen Maritime Inc. since 1986. He initially worked as an ordinary seaman and later as bosun on a contractual basis. From September 3, 1999 up to July 19, 2000, Nelson was detailed in petitioners vessel, the MV Kickapoo Belle. After the completion of his employment contract, Nelson died due to acute renal failure secondary to septicemia. At the time of his death, Nelson was a bona fide member of the Associated Marine Officers and Seamans Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), GCIs collective bargaining agent. Nelsons widow, Merridy Jane, thereafter claimed for death benefits through the grievance procedure of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between AMOSUP and GCI. However, the grievance procedure was declared deadlocked as petitioners refused to grant the benefits sought by the widow. Merridy Jane filed a complaint with the NLRC Sub-Regional Arbitration Board in General Santos City against GCI for death and medical benefits and damages. The amount claimed by Nelsons widow is $90,000 however GCI awarded P20,000 in favor of the deceaseds brother. Merridy claims the remaining amount less the P20,000 her brother-in-law received. Respondent on the other hand refused to award the same on the ground that there is no employer-employee relationship between GC and Nelson at the time of his death. His contract with respondent was already completed upon his death. The Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of petitioner, ordering respondents to pay the $90,000 death benefits less the P20,000 already received. NLRC affirmed the decision of the Labor Arbiter during appeal. When the matter was brought before the Court of Appeals for certiorari, the CA

granted the petition and referred the case to the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) for the designation of the Voluntary Arbitrator. The CA ruled that since the case involve interpretation of the CBA, the Voluntary Arbitrator has jurisdiction and not the CA. ISSUE: Whether or not the Labor Arbiter has no jurisdiction over the case. YES, the Voluntary Arbitrator must take cognizance of the case. RULING: The Court agrees with the CA in holding that this issue clearly involves the interpretation or implementation of the said CBA. Thus, the specific or special provisions of the Labor Code govern. Articles 217(c) and 261 of the Labor Code are very specific in stating that voluntary arbitrators have jurisdiction over cases arising from the interpretation or implementation of collective bargaining agreements. In any case, the Court agrees with petitioner's contention that the CBA is the law or contract between the parties. Article 13.1 of the CBA entered into by and between respondent GCI and AMOSUP, the union to which petitioner belongs, provides as follows: The Company and the Union agree that in case of dispute or conflict in the interpretation or application of any of the provisions of this Agreement, or enforcement of Company policies, the same shall be settled through negotiation, conciliation or voluntary arbitration. In the same manner, Section 29 of the prevailing Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Employment of Filipino Seafarers on Board Ocean Going Vessels, promulgated by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), provides as follows: Section 29. Dispute Settlement Procedures. In cases of claims and disputes arising from this employment, the parties covered by a collective bargaining agreement shall submit the claim or dispute to the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the voluntary arbitrator or panel of arbitrators. It is clear from the above that the interpretation of the DOLE, in consultation with their counterparts in the respective committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the DFA and the POEA is that with respect to disputes involving claims of Filipino seafarers wherein the parties are covered by a CBA, the dispute or claim should be submitted to the jurisdiction of a voluntary arbitrator or panel of arbitrators. It is only in the absence of a CBA that parties may opt to submit the dispute to either the NLRC or to voluntary arbitration. On the basis of the foregoing, the Court finds no error in the ruling of the CA that the voluntary arbitrator has jurisdiction over the instant case.