THERE’s no question that the national government’s total war against illegal drugs, like shabu and
marijuana, graft and corruption and criminality is being waged without fear or favor.
And now, concerned government authorities are also hitting hard at illegal recruiters, who
continue to victimize overseas jobseekers, many of them from the poverty-stricken countryside.
Of course, the recent arrest of another suspected illegal recruiter, Marilou V. Santiago, is
ample proof that the government is winning the war against illegal recruitment.
Santiago was nabbed by agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) during
an entrapment operation inside a bakeshop at the corner of Pedro Gil St. and Taft Avenue in Manila.
The Philippine National Police’s CIDG, headed by Director Roel B. Obusan, had earlier received
complaints that the suspect was victimizing jobseekers from the Ilocos-Pangasinan region.
Supt. Roque Merdegia Jr., chief of the CIDG Anti-Transnational Crime Unit (ATCU), said that
Santiago was arrested by his men after she received marked money from some of the complainants.
To arrest the suspect, Merdegia’s men even attended the pre-departure orientation seminar
conducted by Santiago. After receiving the marked money, the CIDG operatives nabbed the suspect.
Merdegia said Santiago and her cohorts promised the victims high-paying jobs as factory
workers and farmhands in Japan in exchange for huge amounts of money for the processing of their
“The victims were told they will fly to Japan in just 30 days, but that promise did not
materialize,” according to Merdegia. The complainants later found out that Santiago was a bogus
For the Duterte administration to win the total war against illegal recruitment, the people,
notably the victims, ought to help the authorities in identifying, locating and arresting these
Kung hindi ay baka dadami pa ang bibiktimahin ng mga illegal recruiter sa buong bansa.