Pastor nabbed for estafa illegal recruitment

·2 min read

A 53-YEAR-OLD pastor of a Christian denomination was arrested by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Central Visayas after he was accused of conducting illegal recruitment operations.

Bernardo Albarando, also known as Pastor Billy, was arrested in an entrapment in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City on June 10, 2021.

NBI 7 Director Renan Oliva told reporters that three complainants came to their office to complain against Albarando who allegedly had promised them jobs as factory workers in New Zealand in exchange for money.

Albarando allegedly asked the complainants for a placement fee of P35,000. They were promised that they would get jobs with a starting salary of 5,000 New Zealand dollars or P178,000.

But when the complainants emailed the company that Albarando said where they would work, company representatives denied that they were recruiting workers.

This prompted them to seek the NBI 7’s help.

Oliva said they sought the help of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) 7 to determine if Albarando was a legitimate recruiter.

But POEA 7 officials told them that Albarando was not authorized to recruit for overseas employment.

Oliva said upon receiving this information from POEA, they immediately arranged an entrapment operation against Albarando.

One of the complainants told reporters that they thought that Albarando’s promises were true and they were even made to choose where they can work in New Zealand.

Michael (not his real name) was even assured by Albarando that there were many available jobs in New Zealand that they can avail themselves of, claiming that one of the pastor’s siblings was able to find work there after a few months.

Even Michael’s relatives also sought Albarando’s help in getting jobs in New Zealand after the pastor assured that there were still 200 available jobs at the factory there.

Michael’s sibling and aunt even pawned some of their properties just to pay P150,000 to Albarando.

They even joined Albarando’s “Things to Come Mission” church but they didn’t realize that Albarando was duping them.

Reporters tried to get Albarando’s side but he refused to comment.

Albarando will be facing charges for large scale illegal recruitment, which is a violation of Republic Acts 8042 and 10022, and estafa. (AYB / JKV)