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Ylagan sued in Philippines

08 September 2017

Ylagan by the Niagara Falls in Canada, where she
allegedly offered inexistent jobs to Filipinos
by The SUN staff

Missing employment agency owner Ester Ylagan has been sued for fraud in the Philippines by four of her alleged victims, while illegal recruitment charges against her are being readied. 
This was according to Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre, who disclosed that seven or eight other recruits of Ylagan have been interviewed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Admininistration, which could charge her with massive illegal recruitment.
Separately, an officer of the Consulate said a list of Ylagan's alleged victims in Hong Kong has been furnished to the Philippines' Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, which looks into human trafficking cases.
Vice Consul Alex Vallespin who heads the Consulate's assistance to nationals section said it would appear that Ylagan was still in the Philippines based on Bureau of Immigration records. 
Ylagan was shown to have entered the country shortly after her apparent scam was uncovered in Hong Kong in June last year. But since there was no arrest warrant or hold departure order against her, she managed to get in and out of the country freely. 
About two weeks ago, Vallespin told The SUN that Labatt Dela Torre sent the ATN a memorandum inquiring about the whereabouts of Ylagan.
Vallespin said ATN replied also in a memo, that as early as August last year, when news of the scam broke out, he had asked IACAT executive director Darlene Pajarito about whether Ylagan was in the Philippines.
“We told her we had information that Ylagan returned to the Philippines and asked (Pajarito) to confirm the report. She confirmed it, and reconfirmed to me again this year, that Ylagan’s last departure from the Philippines was July 10 and last arrival was Aug 4,” Vallespin said.
The immigration bureau in the Philippines is now on the watch for Ylagan just in case she tries to slip out of the country, he said.  
Meanwhile, Labatt dela Torre said the four victims recruited in La Union had filed a single case against Ylagan at the Regional Trial Court in San Fernando City.
He said POEA investigators had sought out the other victims in three regions, including Mindanao, based on information provided by their relatives in Hong Kong.
“POEA is now interviewing the victims,” Dela Torre said. “Basta ibinigay ko ang mga pangalan,” (I just gave their names), he said, adding that the cases are now with POEA's  Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch for possible prosecution.
Ylagan was accused by about 200 other OFWs based in Hong Kong and Macau of duping them last year with offers of non-existent jobs in Britain and Canada for which they each paid $10,000 and $15,000, respectively.
Ylagan was part owner of Emry's Service Staff Employment Agency, which used to be the biggest recruiter of Filipino domestic workers for Hong Kong. But for the bogus jobs offer, she used Mike’s Secretarial Services Inc., which was listed solely in her name.
Ylagan has snubbed all tribunal and court hearings since Aug 29 last year of the cases filed by victims against her and Mike’s Secretarial after her failure to deliver on the promised jobs in Britain and Canada.
Before she disappeared, she filed a complaint with Hong Kong Police, claiming an unknown business partner in Britain had cheated her of $2.4 million. The case was cited by officers at the Central Police station in rejecting several attempts by Ylagan’s applicants to file a complaint for fraud against her.
The Small Claims Tribunal heard a total of 129 cases then transferred them to the District Court for consolidation. The tribunal heard the last batch of 72 more cases on Aug 28, but these are also expected to be moved to the District Court before the year ends. 
The District Court heard the initial batch of cases on July 7 but neither Ylagan nor her legal representative from the law firm Wong & Co, which she claimed to have engaged to appear for her, failed to show up.
Ylagan also snubbed twice the scheduled hearings of 23 cases of overcharging filed against her and Mike’s Secretarial at the Eastern Court by the Hong Kong Labour Department’s Employment Agency Administration.

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