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Trafficking Filipinos: Are immigration, airport personnel involved?

(Last of two parts) A mix of excitement and anxiety filled “Paulo” as he stepped off a cab at the departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3 on Oct. 4. He was flying to Thailand, his first trip out of the country.    Everything had happened so fast. It was only on...


Trafficking Filipinos: Philippines becoming ‘incubator of scammers’

(First of two parts) Tantalized by the promise of being paid P50,000 a month, “Betty,” a single mother of four in Navotas City north of Manila, didn’t think twice about grabbing an opportunity last April to work as a call center agent in Thailand. Before the month ended, the recruiter had arranged the Covid-19 antigen...


Oxytocin and a smooth talker are the drivers behind romance scams

“Michelle” would have known it was one of the popular cons had she read more about it sooner, but “Perry” was one smooth operator. Waking up after half a sedative pill had sent her to la la land, she put two and two together. She’d fallen hook, line, and sinker for a romance scam, and...


Cyberattacks rising in the Philippines

A week ago, “Marie,” a resident of Quezon City, was preparing to share a funny YouTube video with her friends on Facebook. Her smile turned into a frown when she was told to log in.  For over 10 years, Marie, 40, had not logged out, and could not readily remember her log-in details. While looking for them, she...