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VP Binay vows to prosecute illegal recruiters of abused OFW in Jordan

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay vowed to go after the recruiters of an abused Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) for illegally hiring her to work in Jordan despite a deployment ban.

“Hahabulin natin ang mga involved sa pagkaka-recruit kay [Diana]. Lahat ng papeles niya is [Abu Dhabi] pero pagkatapos nun, dinala na siya sa Jordan,” he said.

Binay is the chairman of the Presidential Taskforce Against Illegal Recruitment (PTFAIR) and chairman emeritus of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).

Diana Castillo, 24, from Taal, Batangas, left the Philippines on March 31 after securing a job as a skilled worker supposedly in Abu Dhabi. Instead, she was brought to Amman to work as a domestic helper.

After two weeks of being abused, Castillo jumped from the third floor of a building to escape her employers. She arrived in Manila Friday and went to Binay’s office at the Coconut Palace.

Binay said Castillo’s local recruitment agency, Crosswind International Manpower Services, has already been put under preventive suspension by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Hans Leo Cacdac.

The Vice President also recommended that POEA look into the possibility of filing human trafficking charges against Crosswind.

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Amman found that Crosswind was using job orders of legitimate employers or skilled workers to be able to send domestic workers to Jordan.

Binay, the Presidential Adviser on OFW concerns, helped in the repatriation of Castillo.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa inyo, Vice President, sa lahat ng tulong ninyo,” a tearful Castillo told Binay.

“Dalawang araw pa lang po ako, sinasaktan na ako ng mga amo ko. Yung pagkain ko po dinuduraan sa harap ko bago ibigay sa akin,” she related, adding that she was also burned, beaten and starved by her employers.

Castillo said she climbed out of a third floor window using a makeshift rope fashioned with her blanket and pillow case. She fell to the second floor and neighbors rushed her to the Prince Hamza Hospital where she was confined for two months.

Castillo sustained a broken leg and bruised liver during her escape. She now has a stainless steel implant in her thigh bone.

Upon learning that she still had difficulty walking, Binay promised Castillo that he would be give her crutches. He also paid for all of Castillo’s medicines for the duration of her treatment.

Binay said Castillo’s repatriation was hampered because the hospital refused to release her without paying her bills which by then had amounted to almost $13,000.

“One of our welfare officers stationed in our embassy in Jordan, Mario Antonio, was able to convince the hospital to release Diana to prevent her bills from increasing, pointing out that her room could be used by other paying patients,” Binay said.

The Vice President added that Antonio told the hospital that Castillo’s employer and agency should be responsible in paying her bills.  After Antonio informed the hospital that the Philippine Embassy will also be filing a case in court against the employer and the recruitment agency, Castillo was released to the embassy.

“I thank WelOf Antonio for monitoring Diana’s case. He was the one who stayed with her while she was recuperating,” Binay said.#