BACOLOD CITY: The Philippine Ports Authority police on Thursday afternoon intercepted at the Dumaguete port 77 men, including a 17-year-old boy, on two busloads en route to Zamboanga.
The men were allegedly recruited by Carlito Bermejo to work at YL Fishing Company in Zamboanga.
They were scheduled to leave via the shuttle ferry but were prevented from leaving after authorities suspected an alleged illegal recruitment.
The minor was brought to the hospital for routine medical examination while the alleged recruiter, Bermejo, who hails from Hinobaan, Negros Occidental was brought to the police station for booking.
Officials of the Department of Labor and Employment on Friday said their initial assessment found Bermejo has no authority to recruit workers.
Some of the men said they would rather go back home to Hinobaan than proceed to Zamboanga without “Cap,” referring to Bermejo, who they said did not recruit them.
They claimed they went with the group voluntarily because they want to find a job in Zamboanga as employment is scarce in Hinobaan.
However, they do not know what their job would be and how much their salary will be in Zamboanga.
Eugene Y. Adiong