Outgoing Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz urged President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to consider imposing death penalty on illegal recruiters victimizing aspiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
She noted that such activities should be regarded as an organized or heinous crime.
“Right now, the law already provides the highest penalty of life imprisonment since it is considered as economic sabotage. So considering illegal recruitment for death penalty could be considered,” Baldoz said.
Rule IV, Section 5 of Republic Act 10022 provides that the penalty of life imprisonment shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes economic sabotage, wherein a syndicate or a group of three persons or more conspired to commit the activity.
Duterte had said the death penalty should be considered for criminals involved in illegal drugs, gun-for-hire syndicates, and for those who committed heinous crimes like rape and robbery with murder.
Under the law, illegal recruitment is defined as any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring, or procuring workers for employment abroad when undertaken by non-licensee or non-holder of authority.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said there are about 400 to 500 cases of illegal recruitment being reported annually.