Italian group disowns shipping firms in illegal recruitment raps

MANILA � An Italian shipping firm denied ownership of three shipping companies and a maritime crewing service that were named respondents in an illegal recruitment case filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

In a letter dated Oct. 23, the Giuseppe Bottiglieri Shipping Company (GBSC) denied having control over shipping companies Marine Partners, True Alliance Shipping Corp., Mama Shipping SARL and maritime crewing service firm Oceanus.

For the avoidance of doubt, GBSC does not own or control Marine Partners, True Alliance Shipping Corp., Mama Shipping or Oceanus, the legal counsels of GBSC said in the letter.

The company, however, said it has contracted Maritime Partners in March 2015 merely to provide recruitment services, reiterating that its transactions with the latter are done in a lawful manner.

It also emphasized that neither in the affidavit of the complainant nor in the NBI complaint against the shipping companies was it stated that GBSC was charged, named or in any way involved the allegations.

In a nine-page complaint dated Sept. 7 signed by NBI National Capital Region Director, lawyer Cesar A. Bacani, the bureau filed charges of syndicated and large-scale illegal recruitment against Henry James Avecilla, Judith Cabrera, Lucky Philip Cabrera along with Italians Sergio Constantini and Maurizio Caselli, incorporators of True Alliance Shipping Corp., before the Mandaluyong City Prosecutors' Office.

Mama Shipping SARL and Maritime Partners Monaco were implicated in the case for notching the services of Oceanus as their agent in the Philippines and enticing the employees of another shipping firm, Eagle Clarc Shipping Philippines, Inc. to transfer.

The case stemmed out from the complaint affidavit filed by Capt. Leopoldo Arcilla, Sr., president and general manager of Eagle Clarc Shipping Philippines, Inc., who accused True Alliance and Oceanus of conspiracy in the falsification of documents.

"Complainant alleged that True Alliance and Oceanus, together with Leonides Rico, Victor Dumagoso, Cyrus Walawala and Dianne R. Paredes, former employees of Eagle Clarc, conspired and confederated with one another in committing acts constitutive of illegal recruitment when it furnishes or publishes any false notice or information or document in relation to recruitment or employment and gives any false notice, testimony information or document or commit any act of misrepresentation for the purpose of securing a license or authority under the Labor Code," the complaint read.

The respondents were also charged with falsification of public documents and use of falsified documents after it was discovered that Caselli was out of the Philippines when the notary was made.

"To recall, based on the travel records of Mr. Caselli, he was not in the Philippines when the Articles of Incorporation was allegedly signed and notarized. The same document was presented before the Securities and Exchange Commission. On the other hand, Ms. Cabrera categorically stated in her Affidavit that True Alliance passed the POEA evaluation of documents, however manning license was not granted only because one of the incorporators failed to appear on the scheduled panel interview with POEA. Apparently, the falsified Articles of Incorporation was submitted by True Alliance in its attempt to be granted a license to operate," the NBI said.

As to the case of syndicated illegal recruitment, it was alleged that True Alliance and Oceanus violated the law due to its fraudulent information, fake articles of incorporation and deceiving the public just to get a license for its business.

"Clearly, the responsible officers and employees of True Alliance should be held liable for Illegal Recruitment when it presented a falsified Articles of Incorporation in its application for a license to operate a manning agency.

To give emphasis, the mere giving of false notice, document, testimony and information consummates the act of Illegal Recruitment as defined above. It does not give weight whether the applicant was later granted with authority or not."

The NBI filed charges of syndicated illegal recruitment because three or more persons conspired in the commission of the offense and the crime of large-scale illegal recruitment was committed since three or more persons became victims of the said criminal charge. (PNA)

(Editors' Note: In an article titled NBI files illegal recruitment raps vs. shipping firm published on Sept. 23, 2018, Giuseppe Bottiglieri Shipping Company (GBSC) was inadvertently referred to as the principal owner of the shipping firms mentioned in the NBI's complaint. Our apologies.)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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