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The Quezon City Regional Trial Court rendered its judgement against two accused, Celia Rumusod Gorospe and Jinalyn “Anne” Jaicten Inao and found them guilty of violating the Republic Act 6955 or the Anti-Mail Order Bride Act. They were convicted for matching, offering and contracting marriage between Filipinos and foreign nationals for profit.

In November 2007, Lara (not her real name) was introduced to Inao by a co-worker in the factory. Lara, along with several other Filipina women, was recruited by Inao to work in South Korea on the condition that they will marry Korean nationals. In December, the complainant and other women were accompanied by Inao to the Farmer’s Market in Cubao where they met Gorospe. The latter arranged the so-called “show up” where Filipino women were presented before the Korean men who are looking for women to marry. Lara was chosen by Mr. Jae Byun. The following morning, a wedding between Lara and Mr. Byun took place in a restaurant where the two accused were present. In addition, both Gorospe and Inao processed the marriage license, marriage certificate and the documents stating consent to marry.

Lara later discovered that false entries were made in her marriage certificate. Upon hearing stories of other women, who were in similar situation, being maltreated overseas, Lara decided not to migrate to Korea to join her “husband”. The two accused began sending threatening text messages to Lara forcing her to pay for the expenses they allegedly incurred in facilitating the marriage. These threats compelled her to seek the assistance of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) whose staff accompanied her to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for the filing of a complaint.

In May 2008, accused Gorospe demanded a meeting with Lara to collect the balance of three thousand pesos (P3,000.00). It was during this meeting that the NBI conducted an entrapment operation which led to the arrest of Inao and Gorospe.

Presiding Judge Ralph S. Lee found the accused Gorospe and Inao guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating the Republic Act 6955. Both were sentenced to imprisonment of six (6) years and one day to eight (8) years, and was fined ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00).

The case was handled and closely monitored by the CFO from the time the victim sought its assistance until the promulgation of judgment last March 25, 2014. The CFO is a government agency under the Office of the President which is mandated to promote and uphold the interest of overseas Filipinos. One of its programs provided in the Philippine Passport Act and the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act is the conduct of mandatory pre-departure guidance and counseling program to Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals.