The RTC rendered judgement against Rodolfo but in imposing the penalty, the RTC took note of the fact that while the information reflected the commission of illegal recruitment in large scale, only the complaint of two (Ferre and Corpus) of the five complainants was proven. Rodolfo appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA dismissed the petition but modified the penalty imposed by the trial court. The CA also dismissed Rodolfo’s Motion for Reconsideration. ISSUE: Whether or not Rodolfo is guilty of illegal recruitment in large scale HELD: The elements of the offense of illegal recruitment, which must concur, are: (1) that the offender has no valid license or authority required by law to lawfully engage in recruitment and placement of workers; and (2) that the offender 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. 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 large scale. Article 13 (b) of the Labor Code defines ―recruitment and placement‖ as ―[a]ny act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers, and includes referrals, contract services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or not.‖ That the first element is present in the case at bar, there is no doubt. Jose Valeriano, Senior Overseas Employment Officer of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, testified that the records of the POEA do not show that Rodolfo is authorized to recruit workers for overseas employment. A Certification to that effect was in fact issued by Hermogenes C. Mateo, Chief of the Licensing Division of POEA. The second element is doubtless also present. The act of referral, which is included in recruitment, is ―the act of passing along or forwarding of an applicant for employment after an initial interview of a selected applicant for employment to a selected employer, placement officer or bureau.‖ Rodolfo’s admission that she brought private complainants to the agency whose owner she knows and her acceptance of fees including those for processing betrays her guilt. Rodolfo 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 recruitment may be ―for profit or not.‖ It is sufficient that the accused ―promises or offers for a fee employment‖ to warrant conviction for illegal recruitment. Parenthetically, why Rodolfo 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, she proferred no explanation.
- Spring '18