THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) had been pretty busy these past two weeks when a surge in passenger volume is expected in view of the Lenten break.
Commendably enough, the BI personnel assigned at the premier airports particularly under the rein of BI-Ports Operation Division (POD) chief Grifton Medina and with the aid of BI-Travel Control Enforcement Unit (TCEU) Chief Erwin Ortañez and TCEU Head Supervisor Glenn Ford Comia did not fail in thwarting those who attempted to employ old and new schemes to leave the country via illegal means or to engage in illegal activities once abroad.
Among the new schemes, and which easily qualifies as the worst, is the ‘womb-for-rent’ scheme.
Two Filipinas -- aged 28 and 32 -- were barred from leaving and admitted having agreed out of poverty to be recruited into becoming surrogate mothers in China, in exchange for P300,000. A surrogate mother is a woman who agrees to become pregnant and give birth to a child for another person and a surrogacy arrangement is usually sought when pregnancy is medically impossible or when pregnancy risks are too dangerous for the intended mother.
Medina said the women were intercepted after seeing that the arrangement exploits women whose wombs are treated as commodities to meet the reproductive needs of rich people who are unable to bear a child, adding that last year, 32 women were held in Cambodia for being surrogate mothers in an illegal surrogacy ring supplying services for Chinese clients.
Obviously, the country is also being targeted to become another hub for this womb-for-rent scheme.
And then there was this human trafficking case of a Macau-bound Filipina who was also intercepted when she tried to leave using the 11-year-old daughter of her recruiter, armed with a travel clearance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), citing her as the guardian. The said woman was attempting to depart as a tourist under the sponsorship of a certain Filipina who is a Household Service Worker (HSW) in Macau, pretended to be the guardian of the child and alleged she they were bound for Macau to visit her sponsor.
Then, there is the case of two would-be victims of a sex ring who were likewise barred from leaving at the NAIA and were on their way to Bangkok to enegage in performing sexual acts in exchange for money. The two admitted having agreed to meet up an Omani who wanted to sleep with them together.
According to Medina, one of the victims said she was promised P5,000 a day if she and her companion would stay and engage in sexual relations with the said Omani for eight straight days.
Also within the past two weeks, 30 undocumented overseas contract workers disguised as tourists bound for the Middle East were intercepted by BI-NAIA immigration officers.
Consisting of 18 women and 12 men, all of them initially claimed they were going to visit a friend or relative in Dubai for a vacation and presented as proof their tourist visas and return tickets, but inconsistencies in their statements prompted the immigration officers to doubt their purpose, so they were referred to the TCEU for secondary inspection, where they admitted that they were going to work abroad and that their travel documents were only given to them that day by their handler who met them outside the airport.
Unknown to them, they were actually rescued from the risk of being abused and exploited abroad, which they are prone to suffer due to their status as undocumented workers.
Apparently, those employing these illegal schemes and their willing victims think that they can easily slip out since the airport is abuzz with activities this season. Now they know they’re wrong.
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Jokjok (from Carlito Amgeles of San Pedro, Laguna) -- Sa isang date ng bagong mag-boyfriend, nakita ng lalake na may tinga yung babae…Boy: Hulaan ko, malunggay ‘yung ulam mo nung tanghalian noh? Girl: Hahaha, sorry, pero mali ka. Kagabi pa ‘yung ulam kong tinolang may malunggay. Piniritong manok na ang inulam ko kanina...
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