August 22, 2012
Four members of a large syndicate who gypped over 50 prospective overseas workers of millions of pesos were arrested, including its mastermind, in two separate operations by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recently.
The subjects are identified as FERNANDO DEL ROSARIO GERONIMO, alias Fernando Geronimo Batungbakal Jr.; of Global Alliance Consultancy and Immigration Specialist Inc./ United Alliance Consultancy (Cebu City); ANNA LISA G. SAMSON, 45, of Gulod, Norzagaray, Bulacan; RONUALDO G. GERONIMO, 30, a resident of Sapang Palay, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan; and EVANGELINE "Van" LIWANAG.
At-large are: Cynthia G. Mateo, Alisha Batac, Jess Miniano and Daisy Ibarra.
The case arose from complaints of around 50 overseas job applicants who trooped to the NBI Central Visayas Regional Office (CEVRO) in Cebu City who are victims of Illegal Recruitment and Estafa commited by the suspects. They alleged that Geronimo and his staff recruited them for non-existing jobs in the United States and demanded an average of P200,000 as placement and other service fees.
The syndicate allegedly falsified documents, such as income tax receipts (ITRs), DTI permit, and bank account certification, land titles, and others in support of visa application of the victims.
The initial case of ten (10) complaints was assigned to the RTC Cebu City Branch 7, Presiding Judge Semion Dumdum who issued a warrant of arrest against the suspects. No bail was recommended.
The US Embassy in Manila coordinated with the NBI for the immediate arrest of the suspects.
On August 3, 2012, suspects Anna Lisa Samson and Ronualdo Geronimo were collared at Robinson's Mall after leaving the Department of Justice (DOJ) where they attended a hearing of another case of Illegal Recruitment. They were brought to the NBI jail where they are detained.
On August 17, 2012, the syndicate leader, Fernando Del Rosario Geronimo, alias Fernando G. Batungbakal Jr., together with Evangeline "Van" Liwanag were arrested at Unit 27 K, Tower 2 Robinson's Place Residence, Ermita, Manila. Fernando tried to deny his identity and claimed he is one Francis Lim. But when pressed further, he eventually admitted that he is Fernando del Rosario Geronimo. They were brought to the NBI.
The suspect's activities are so extensive and gained notoriety when about 600 complainants/victims filed a case of Illegal Recruitment and Estafa against them. Consequently, authorities raided their offices in Manila on February 1, 2012. These cases are pending at the Department of Justice.
Record check with NBI files revealed that Batungbakal (Fernando Geronimo) is also facing Illegal Recruitment cases in several RTC Courts in Quezon City. The suspects will be brought to Cebu City for their commitment to Cebu City jail.