Issue of November 16, 2014
     
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OPINION
 

105th
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Court clears former OFW of illegal recruitment charges
by Jimmy K. Laking

The Regional Trial Court in Baguio City has acquitted a former overseas Filipino worker of the charges of large scale illegal recruitment and estafa charges filed against her by 15 job applicants in 2010 for insufficiency of evidence.

RTC Branch 60 Judge Edilberto T. Claravall also ordered the release of the accused, Roselyn Gamit, from detention.

But Gamit’s co-accused, Tommy Cheung,  believed to be a Hong Kong national, will remain a fugitive of peace after efforts to bring him to court failed.

Claravall acquitted Gamit from the charges on the ground that the prosecution failed to present evidence to strengthen the cases.

“The foundation of the ruling of acquittal is reasonable doubt, which simply means that the prosecution’s evidence was not sufficient to sustain the guilt of the accused beyond the point of moral certainty,” added the judge.

Gamit and Cheung were accused by complainants Sammy D. Sab-it, Joey M. Doclis, Frederico A. Yangyang, Lister B. Bay-an, Mark F. Paltican, Landy K. Vicente, Rogel M. Paltican, Leo B. Alingcotan, Junifes P. Bestog, Eduardo B. Trinidad, Luis A. Yangyang, Macroy D. Sadlay, Lorenzo M. Miranda, Sali T. Lingaling, Ricky L. Mayocdan, and Nicasio T. Sad-en of illegal recruitment committed in large scale.

Gamit was also accused of two separate cases of estafa by three of the accused. The complainants claimed all the cases were committed in Baguio City.

The complainants claimed they were recruited by Gamit and Cheung purportedly to work for the construction of a tunnel that would connect Hong Kong and Macau. But no deployment ever came.

Gamit was ascertained to have no authority or license to recruit. But the court also determined that it was not the accused who actually convinced the complainants to apply for the work offered by Cheung in the form of a tunnel project.

No evidence was also produced to back up the charges of estafa, hence the verdict of acquittal on the three cases.




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