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7/13/2017 G.R. No.

146964

TodayisThursday,July13,2017

RepublicofthePhilippines
SUPREMECOURT
Manila

THIRDDIVISION

G.R.No.146964August10,2006

ROSAC.RODOLFO,Petitioner,
vs.
PEOPLEOFTHEPHILIPPINES,Respondent.

DECISION

CARPIOMORALES,J.:

PetitionerwaschargedbeforetheRegionalTrialCourt(RTC)ofMakatiforillegalrecruitmentallegedtohavebeen
committedasfollows:

ThatinoraboutandduringtheperiodfromAugusttoSeptember1984,inMakati,MetroManila,Philippines,and
withinthejurisdictionofthisHonorableCourt,thesaidaccusedrepresentingherselftohavethecapacitytocontract,
enlist and transport Filipino workers for employment abroad, did then and there willfully and unlawfully, for a fee,
recruit and promise employment/job placement abroad to VILLAMOR ALCANTARA, NARCISO CORPUZ, 1
NECITASR.FERRE,GERARDOH.TAPAWANandJOVITOL.CAMA,withoutfirstsecuringtherequiredlicenseor
authorityfromtheMinistryofLaborandEmployment.2

Aftertrialonthemerits,Branch61oftheMakatiRTCrendereditsJudgmentonthecase, 3thedecretalportionof
whichreads:

WHEREFORE,PREMISESABOVECONSIDERED,theCourtfindstheaccusedROSAC.RODOLFOasGUILTY
of the offense of ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT and hereby sentences her [to] a penalty of imprisonment of EIGHT
YEARSandtopaythecosts.4(Underscoringsupplied)

Insoimposingthepenalty,thetrialcourttooknoteofthefactthatwhiletheinformationreflectedthecommissionof
illegalrecruitmentinlargescale,onlythecomplaintofthetwoofthefivecomplainantswasproven.

Onappeal,theCourtofAppealscorrectlysynthesizedtheevidencepresentedbythepartiesasfollows:

[The evidence for the prosecution] shows that sometime in August and September 1984, accusedappellant
approached private complainants Necitas Ferre and Narciso Corpus individually and invited them to apply for
overseasemploymentinDubai.Theaccusedappellantbeingtheirneighbor,privatecomplainantsagreedandwent
to the formers office. This office which bore the business name "Bayside Manpower Export Specialist" was in a
building situated at Bautista St. Buendia, Makati, Metro Manila. In that office, private complainants gave certain
amountstoappellantforprocessingandotherfees.FerregaveP1,000.00asprocessingfee(ExhibitA)andanother
P4,000.00 (Exhibit B). Likewise, Corpus gave appellant P7,000.00 (Exhibit D). Appellant then told private
complainants that they were scheduled to leave for Dubai on September 8, 1984. However, private complainants
andalltheotherapplicantswerenotabletodepartonthesaiddateastheiremployerallegedlydidnotarrive.Thus,
their departure was rescheduled to September 23, but the result was the same. Suspecting that they were being
hoodwinked,privatecomplainantsdemandedofappellanttoreturntheirmoney.ExceptfortherefundofP1,000.00
toFerre,appellantwasnotabletoreturnprivatecomplainantsmoney.Tiredofexcuses,privatecomplainantsfiled
thepresentcaseforillegalrecruitmentagainsttheaccusedappellant.

To prove that accusedappellant had no authority to recruit workers for overseas employment, the prosecution
presentedJoseValeriano,aSeniorOverseasEmploymentOfficerofthePhilippineOverseasEmploymentAgency
(POEA),whotestifiedthataccusedappellantwasneitherlicensednorauthorizedbythethenMinistryofLaborand
Employmenttorecruitworkersforoverseasemployment.

Forherdefense,appellantdeniedeverapproachingprivatecomplainantstorecruitthemforemploymentinDubai.
Onthecontrary,itwastheprivatecomplainantswhoaskedherhelpinsecuringjobsabroad.Asagoodneighbor
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andfriend,shebroughttheprivatecomplainantstotheBaysideManpowerExportSpecialistagencybecauseshe
knewFloranteHinahon,5theownerofthesaidagency.Whileaccusedappellantadmittedthatshereceivedmoney
fromtheprivatecomplainants,shewasquicktopointoutthatshereceivedthesameonlyintrustfordeliverytothe
agency. She denied being part of the agency either as an owner or employee thereof. To corroborate appellants
testimony, Milagros Cuadra, who was also an applicant and a companion of private complainants, testified that
appellantdidnotrecruitthem.Onthecontrary,theyweretheoneswhoaskedhelpfromappellant.Tofurtherbolster
thedefense,EribertoC.Tabing,theaccountantandcashieroftheagency,testifiedthatappellantisnotconnected
with the agency and that he saw appellant received money from the applicants but she turned them over to the
agencythrougheitherFlorantinoHinahonorLuzvimindaMarcos.6(Emphasisandunderscoringsupplied)

Inlightthereof,theappellatecourtaffirmedthejudgmentofthetrialcourtbutmodifiedthepenaltyimposeddueto
thetrialcourtsfailuretoapplytheIndeterminateSentenceLaw.

Theappellatecourtthusdisposed:

WHEREFORE, finding no merit in the appeal, this Court DISMISSES it and AFFIRMS the appealed Decision
EXCEPTthepenaltyxxxwhichisherebychangedtofive(5)yearsasminimumtoseven(7)yearsasmaximum
with perpetual disqualification from engaging in the business of recruitment and placement of workers. 7
(Underscoringsupplied)

PetitionersMotionforReconsiderationhavingbeendenied, 8thepresentpetitionwasfiled,faulting theappellate


court

xxxINGIVINGCREDENCETOTHETESTIMONIESOFTHECOMPLAININGWITNESSES,[AND]

II

xxxINFINDINGTHEPETITIONERACCUSEDGUILTYWHENTHEPROSECUTIONFAILEDTOPROVEHER
GUILTBEYONDREASONABLEDOUBT.9(Underscoringsupplied)

PetitionerbewailsthefailureofthetrialcourtandtheCourtofAppealstocreditthetestimoniesofherwitnesses,her
companionMilagrosCuadra,andEribertoC.Tabingwhoisanaccountantcashieroftheagency.

Further, petitioner assails the trial courts and the appellate courts failure to consider that the provisional receipts
sheissuedindicatedthattheamountsshecollectedfromtheprivatecomplainantswereturnedovertotheagency
throughMindaMarcosandFloranteHinahon.Atanyrate,shedrawsattentiontoPeoplev.Seoron10whereinthis
Courtheldthattheissuanceorsigningofreceiptsforplacementfeesdoesnotmakeacaseforillegalrecruitment.
11

Thepetitionfails.

Articles38and39oftheLaborCode,thelegalprovisionsapplicablewhentheoffensechargedwascommitted, 12
provided:

ART. 38. Illegal Recruitment. (a) Any recruitment activities, including the prohibited practices enumerated under
Article34ofthisCode,tobeundertakenbynonlicenseesornonholdersofauthorityshallbedeemedillegaland
punishableunderArticle39ofthisCode.xxx

Article39.Penalties.xxxx

(c) Any person who is neither a licensee nor a holder of authority under this Title found violating any provision
thereoforitsimplementingrulesandregulationsshall,uponconvictionthereof,sufferthepenaltyofimprisonmentof
notlessthanfouryearsnormorethaneightyearsorafineofnotlessthanP20,000 nor more than P100,000or
bothsuchimprisonmentandfine,atthediscretionofthecourt

xxxx(Underscoringsupplied)

Theelementsoftheoffenseofillegalrecruitment,whichmustconcur,are:(1)thattheoffenderhasnovalidlicense
orauthorityrequiredbylawtolawfullyengageinrecruitmentandplacementofworkersand(2)thattheoffender
undertakes any activity within the meaning of recruitment and placement under Article 13(b), or any prohibited
practices enumerated under Article 34 of the Labor Code. 13 If another element is present that the accused
commits the act against three or more persons, individually or as a group, it becomes an illegal recruitment in a
largescale.14

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Article 13 (b) of the Labor Code defines "recruitment and placement" as "[a]ny act of canvassing, enlisting,
contracting,transporting,utilizing,hiringorprocuringworkers,andincludesreferrals,contractservices,promisingor
advertisingforemployment,locallyorabroad,whetherforprofitornot."(Underscoringsupplied)

Thatthefirstelementispresentinthecaseatbar,thereisnodoubt.JoseValeriano,SeniorOverseasEmployment
OfficerofthePhilippineOverseasEmploymentAdministration,testifiedthattherecordsofthePOEAdonotshow
thatpetitionerisauthorizedtorecruitworkersforoverseasemployment. 15ACertificationtothateffectwasinfact
issuedbyHermogenesC.Mateo,ChiefoftheLicensingDivisionofPOEA.16

Petitionersdisclaimerofhavingengagedinrecruitmentactivitiesfromtheverystartdoesnotpersuadeinlightof
theevidencefortheprosecution.InPeoplev.Alvarez,thisCourtheld:

Appellantdeniesthatsheengagedinactsofrecruitmentandplacementwithoutfirstcomplyingwiththeguidelines
issued by the Department of Labor and Employment. She contends that she did not possess any license for
recruitment,becausesheneverengagedinsuchactivity.

Wearenotpersuaded.Inweighingcontradictorydeclarationsandstatements,greaterweightmustbegiventothe
positive testimonies of the prosecution witnesses than to the denial of the defendant.Article38(a)clearlyshows
that illegal recruitment is an offense that is essentially committed by a nonlicensee or nonholder of authority. A
nonlicenseemeansanyperson,corporationorentitytowhichthelaborsecretaryhasnotissuedavalidlicenseor
authoritytoengageinrecruitmentandplacementorwhoselicenseorauthorityhasbeensuspended,revokedor
cancelled by the POEA or the labor secretary. A license authorizes a person or an entity to operate a private
employmentagency,whileauthorityisgiventothoseengagedinrecruitmentandplacementactivities.

xxxx

That appellant in this case had been neither licensed nor authorized to recruit workers for overseas employment
wascertifiedbyVenerandaC.Guerrero,officerinchargeoftheLicensingandRegulationOfficeandMa.Salome
S.Mendoza,manageroftheLicensingBranchbothofthePhilippineOverseasEmploymentAdministration.Yet,
ascomplainantsconvincinglyproved,sherecruitedthemforjobsinTaiwan. 17(Italicsintheoriginalunderscoring
supplied)

Thesecondelementisdoubtlessalsopresent.Theactofreferral,whichisincludedinrecruitment, 18is"theactof
passing along or forwarding of an applicant for employment after an initial interview of a selected applicant for
employmenttoaselectedemployer,placementofficerorbureau."19Petitionersadmissionthatshebroughtprivate
complainants to the agency whose owner she knows and her acceptance of fees including those for processing
betraysherguilt.

That petitioner issued provisional receipts indicating that the amounts she received from the private complainants
were turned over to Luzviminda Marcos and Florante Hinahon does not free her from liability. For the act of
recruitmentmaybe"forprofitornot."Itissufficientthattheaccused"promisesoroffersforafeeemployment"to
warrantconvictionforillegalrecruitment.20Astheappellatecourtstated:

xxxSec.13(b)ofP.D.442[TheLaborCode]doesnotrequirethattherecruiterreceivesandkeepstheplacement
moneyforhimselforherself.Foraslongasapersonwhohasnolicensetoengageinrecruitmentofworkersfor
overseas employment offers for a fee an employment to two or more persons, then he or she is guilty of illegal
recruitment.21

Parenthetically, why petitioner accepted the payment of fees from the private complainants when, in light of her
claim that she merely brought them to the agency, she could have advised them to directly pay the same to the
agency,sheproferrednoexplanation.

OnpetitionersrelianceonSeoron, 22true,thisCourtheldthatissuanceofreceiptsforplacementfeesdoesnot
makeacaseforillegalrecruitment.Butitwentontostatethatitis"rathertheundertakingofrecruitmentactivities
withoutthenecessarylicenseorauthority"thatmakesacaseforillegalrecruitment.23

Awordonthepenalty.Indeed,thetrialcourtfailedtoapplytheIndeterminateSentenceLawwhichalsoappliesto
offensespunishedbyspeciallaws.

Thus, Section 1 of Act No. 4103 (An Act to Provide for an Indeterminate Sentence and Parole for All Persons
ConvictedofCertainCrimesbytheCourtsofthePhilippineIslandsToCreateABoardofIndeterminateSentence
andtoProvideFundsThereforandforOtherPurposes)provides:

SECTION 1. Hereafter, in imposing a prison sentence for an offense punished by the Revised Penal Code, or its
amendments,thecourtshallsentencetheaccusedtoanindeterminatesentencethemaximumtermofwhichshall
bethatwhich,inviewoftheattendingcircumstances,couldbeproperlyimposedundertherulesofthesaidCode,
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andtheminimumwhichshallbewithintherangeofthepenaltynextlowertothatprescribedbytheCodeforthe
offenseandiftheoffenseispunishedbyanyotherlaw,thecourtshallsentencetheaccusedtoanindeterminate
sentence,themaximumtermofwhichshallnotexceedthemaximumfixedbysaidlawandtheminimumshallnot
belessthantheminimumtermprescribedbythesame.(AsamendedbyActNo.4225)(Underscoringsupplied)

Whilethepenaltyofimprisonmentimposedbytheappellatecourtiswithintheprescribedpenaltyfortheoffense,its
additionof"perpetualdisqualificationfromengaginginthebusinessofrecruitmentandplacementofworkers"isnot
partthereof.Suchadditionalpenaltymustthusbestrickenoff.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are
AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION in that the accessory penalty imposed by it consisting of "perpetual
disqualificationfromengaginginthebusinessofrecruitmentandplacementofworkers"isDELETED.

Costsagainstpetitioner.

SOORDERED.

CONCHITACARPIOMORALES
AssociateJustice

WECONCUR:

LEONARDOA.QUISUMBING
AssociateJustice
Chairperson

ANTONIOT.CARPIO DANTEO.TINGA
AssociateJustice AssociateJustice

PRESBITEROJ.VELASCO,JR.
AssociateJustice

ATTESTATION

IattestthattheconclusionsintheaboveDecisionwerereachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassignedtothe
writeroftheopinionoftheCourtsDivision.

LEONARDOA.QUISUMBING
AssociateJustice
Chairperson

CERTIFICATION

PursuanttoArticleVIII,Section13oftheConstitution,andtheDivisionChairmansAttestation,itisherebycertified
thattheconclusionsintheaboveDecisionwerereachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassignedtothewriter
oftheopinionoftheCourt.

ARTEMIOV.PANGANIBAN
ChiefJustice

Footnotes
1IntheVerification,petitionersignedasRosaP."Rodolfo"Canan,rollo,p.29.

2Records,p.1.

3Id.at381383.

4Id.at383.

5AlsonamedFlorantinoissomepartsoftherecords.

6CArollo,pp.9091.

7Id.at93.

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8Id.at108.

9Rollo,p.52.

10334Phil.932(1997).

11Rollo,p.53.

12 R.A. 8042, the "Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995" now covers and provides for the
penaltiesforillegalrecruitmentinoverseasdeployment.
13Peoplev.Gallardo,436Phil.698,708(2002).

14Peoplev.Baytic,446Phil.23,29(2003)Peoplev.OrtizMiyake,344Phil.598,612(1997).

15TSN,July30,1986,p.440.

16Exhibit"C,"records,p.104.

17436Phil.255,271272(2002).

18Peoplev.Saley,353Phil.897,928929(1998)Peoplev.Agustin,317Phil.897,907(1995).

19PeoplevAgustin,317Phil.897,907(1995).

20VidePeoplev.DelaPiedra,403Phil.31,57(2001).

21CArollo,p.92.

22Supranote10.

23Id.at938.

TheLawphilProjectArellanoLawFoundation

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