Baldoz thumbs down death penalty for illegal recruiters
Outgoing Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on Tuesday said she is not in favor of death penalty, even on convicted illegal recruiters, despite her earlier call for President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to put illegal recruiters in his order of battle.
"I am pro-life and I remain so. I am not pushing for the death penalty because I firmly believe even the most-hardened criminal should be given a chance to change his ways and get back to his family and community to lead a transformed life," she said in a statement.
Baldoz was clarifying reports that she is pushing for the inclusion of illegal recruitment among crimes punishable by death.
"I said that if some in our society believe that the penalty under existing law for illegal recruitment is not enough, the next stiffest penalty to life imprisonment is the death penalty and the next administration may want to review the heinous nature of the crime as basis for the imposition of the death penalty," Baldoz explained.
However, she believes that "strong remedial measures must be implemented to complement preventive efforts."
"That is why we at the DOLE has never ceased coming up with ways... to educate Filipinos about the illegal recruitment menace," Baldoz added.
Baldoz also believes that since many aspiring overseas Filipino workers are being victimized, illegal recruitment "can already be considered a syndicated or heinous crime."
She added that illegal recruitment as economic sabotage "merits the review of the heinous nature of the crime" as it affects hundreds of lives and is "by nature" a transnational crime.
"Even illegal recruitment involving just a single person destroys a family and a community. It saps the fabric of society and affects our efforts towards sustainable economic development and prosperity," Baldoz said.
Republic Act. 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act, amended by R.A. 10022, classifies syndicated or large-scale illegal recruitment "as "economic sabotage" punishable by life imprisonment and a fine ranging from P2 million to P5 million." —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News