By Allen V. Estabillo
May 12, 2012
GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/11 May) – Government agents rescued at least 16 minors from Maguindanao province who were allegedly recruited for fake overseas job placements by a suspected human trafficker based in this city.
Timmy Rejano, supervising agent of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Region 12, said Friday they intercepted the victims while their alleged recruiter identified as Mary Ann Linao was trying to secure their clearances at the NBI regional office in Koronadal City on Wednesday.
He said they immediately arrested Linao, who was charged late Thursday for violation of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Acts of 2003.
“While processing the clearances, our agents discovered that some of the birth certificates they presented were bogus while others were tampered to make it appear that they were no longer minors,” Rejano told MindaNews.
He said they immediately took custody of the 16 victims, who were all residents of Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao.
During questioning, Rejano said the victims admitted that they were only aged between 16 and 17 years-old.
He said they were allegedly recruited by Linao for supposed jobs in Kuwait in earlier visits to their villages in Shariff Aguak.
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