Alleged illegal Jeddah recruiter fails to refund processing fees

    Genavie Dellumes Ymbong (a.k.a. Jamil Ymbong), accused of illegal recruitment in Jeddah, failed to fulfill his promise to refund by the end of May  the processing fees paid by six applicants for jobs as cleaners in Saudi Arabia.

    The complainants had earlier asked the Philippine government to have Ymbong arrested and deported. In response, Ymbong  promised to refund their processing fees.

    Dania S. Mama (a.k.a. Dania Otto Sabdula), one of the complainants, said when they called Ymbong to ask about the refunds, he told them it would be remitted on June 8. But he had not delivered on the same promises in the past, so they did not believe him and called him a scammer.

    After that, Ymbong blocked their access to his number and they could not contact him anymore.

    “Parang talagang nawala na siya, “ Dania said. (As if he has literally disappeared.)

    Each one of the applicants paid PhP20,000 and incurred other expenses like medical fees.

    Aside from Dania, the other complainants are Zaide Sabdula, Merriejoy G. Jumawan, Abdulpatah Undag Gani, Elmer Mamba and Francia Ayco.

    The case was referred to retired career diplomat Rafael E. Seguis who sent it to the Consulate in Jeddah. Consul General Edgar Tomas “Gary” Q. Auxilian forwarded it to the MWO-OWWA (Migrant Workers Office —Overseas Workers Welfare Administration).

    The complainants also asked the help of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW). Dania met with Director Francisco “Jun” Aguilar, Jr. of the Foreign Stakeholders Relations and Employment Bureau (FSREB), which contacted RM Global Services, Inc., representarive of the Free Falcons International  in the Philippines.

    Aguilar sent a message to Ymbong in Jeddah reminding him to do something regarding the complaints against him.

    An update on the case from Aguilar was requested. Although he did not respond, the DMWs’ Adjudication Bureau scheduled a conciliatory conference between RM Global Services and the complainants at 8:30 a.m. on July 3 and 10.

    A directive signed by lawyer Jomarlli B. Ustarez was issued, reminding the parties to submit proper authorization during the conference and the representative shall have the  full authority to negotiate, settle or enter into a compromise agreement.

    It also said failure to appear for two consecutive conferences (D.I. 151-16, Section 4, b.) or provide proper contact information (cellphone number/email account) might be construed as “lack of interest” to pursue the case.

    Not fully aware of the importance of the conference, having difficulty complying with the requirements mentioned in the directive and anticipating that they would be deployed by another recruitment agency soon, Dania and the other complainants did  not attend.

    “Di pumunta si Abdulpatah. Sayang daw oras niya,” Dania said in a text message.  (Abdulpatah did not attend saying it would be just a waste of time.)  Abdulpatah had to report for work on that day.

    As this report was being written, Dania and Abdulpatah had left for overseas jobs in the Middle East. Zaide Sabdula was also about to leave and join them in the same company.

     In response to an inquiry, Congen Auxilian asked for an update on the case from Labor Attaché Roel B. Martin, a lawyer from Angadanan, Isabela.

   Martin said Haroun Manalondong, liaison officer of Free Falcons International, said that he would tell Ymbong to report to the MWO and give his side of the case but the latter had not shown up.

    Ymbong was the liaison officer of the Jeddah-based agency when he recruited Dania and the other complainants.

   It appears  Ymbong has  ignored  Manalondong’s instruction for him to show up at the MWO. Martin said he had ordered a probe  on  Free Falcons International.

    Dania said she had started a chat group (CG) where OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) could be warned against Ymbong’s alleged illegal recruitment operations.

    She noticed a well-written advertisement in Filipino in the CG  offering various services to OFWs with problems regarding work or stay in Saudi Arabia. The  contact number in the advertisement was the same  as the WhatsApp number Ymbong gave her and the other complainants.

    Asked how Dania and co-applicants paid the processing fees to Ymbong, she said a representative from Jeddah, Jevars Balsomo, came home purportedly to set up a branch in Taguig City.

   “Sa kanya kami nagbayad at siya rin nagdala ng bayad namin kay Ymbong sa Jeddah, “ Dania said. (We gave our payments to him and he remitted the money  to Ymbong in Jeddah.)

   Balsomo has since left the agency because he was not receiving from Jeddah the  money for the monthly office rent.

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