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Mabatid is on Immigration’s watchlist, summoned to Senate hearing

10 February 2024

 

Mabatid's poster for her Feb 19, 2023 recruitment seminar for HK OFWs

Former Cebu City Councillor Prisca Nina Mabatid who is facing complaints of illegal recruitment and/or human trafficking from hundreds of Filipinos whom she promised student visas to Canada, including about 20 in Hong Kong, is now included in the Philippine Immigration’s watchlist.

All the complainants against Mabatid claimed that after collecting between P100,000 and P139,999 each from them, she and her staff failed to deliver their promise, and worse, threatened them with a lawsuit for demanding their money back.

Mabatid’s inclusion in the watchlist was revealed during the Senate committee hearing on massive illegal recruitment of Filipinos held on Feb. 7, with Senators Raffy Tulfo and Risa Hontiveros leading the inquiry.

Buksan ang mga tip

According to an NBI staff, five people, all facing complaints of massive recruitment or deception carried out on Filipinos, are on the watchlist.

Two were a couple, Yexel Sebastian and Mikee Agustin, who fled to Nagoya, Japan after carrying out a multi-million peso investment scam, and two others were Kyzelle Respicio and Frederick Dutaro who managed to fly out to Saudi Arabia after allegedly offering non-existent jobs in Italy to hundreds of Filipinos who each paid hundreds of thousands of pesos.

The fifth was said to be Mabatid, who is now the only one still in the Philippines, having monitored arriving from United Arab Emirates on Jan. 26 this year, when she was apparently told that she was on the watchlist.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Hearing about this, Senator Hontiveros asked the committee to summon Mabatid to the follow-up hearing on Feb. 13.

Mabatid was online for the Feb. 7 session but did not turn on her camera during the three-hour hearing.

The session was spent listening to complaints against a casino investment scam and the recruitment of about 260 Filipinos to non-existent jobs in Italy, for which Consul General to Milan Elmer Cato was among those questioned.

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Physically present was Vicky Casia-Cabantac, vice chairperson of Migrante International, along with some of the complainants against Mabatid in the Philippines that her group has been helping.

Cabantac said that after the session, an NBI agent approached her group and said that the case has already been forwarded to the Department of Justice for the filing of charges.

PINDUTIN ITO

On standby online to also give statements were Dolores Balladares, Migrante Hong Kong chair, case officer Ester Bangcawayan of the Mission for Migrant Workers, OFW applicant Cherryl Manuel and The SUN editor Daisy CL Mandap.

They were told to attend the next session again when the cases against Mabatid will be heard, and she will be given a chance to air her side.

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