A few weeks ago, two South Koreans, along with four Filipino partners, were arrested for mail-order bride business. Just recently, three South Koreans were busted for the same act. The sting operation was filmed and shown in one of the episodes of “Imbestigador“, a famous investigative show in the Philippines that tackles anomalies and disparities in the government.
A 19-year-old complainant sought the help of the authorities after she was allegedly forced to marry a 37-year-old Korean. According to her, the Korean was just a friend who was introduced by a neighbor. They went out a couple of times, together with her sister and another Korean who was the interpreter, but she never thought that the Korean had a hidden agenda. The Korean took the complainant and her younger sister shopping and showered them with gifts which they didn’t hesitate to accept. Later, they found out that their parents had arranged the younger sibling’s marriage with the Korean. The younger sibling ran away upon knowing this, so the complainant had no choice but to take her sister’s place. The Korean’s party threatened her and her family that if no marriage takes place, they were going to sue them and have them pay for damages and return all the things that the Korean gave them. There is no way her family could pay the Korean, so she was forced to marry him.
After their civil wedding and the honeymoon, for which she claimed she was raped, the Korean left to take care of some documents and returned to the Philippines after two months to get her. When she told the Korean that she does not want to go with him to Korea, he demanded 700,000 PHP (almost 17,000 USD) from her in exchange for all his expenses and efforts. That was when she decided to call the authorities.
AN ACT TO INSTITUTE POLICIES TO ELIMINATE TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN, ESTABLISHING THE NECESSARY INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS FOR THE PROTECTION AND SUPPORT OF TRAFFICKED PERSONS, PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR ITS VIOLATIONS, AND FOR OTHER…
Later, the case was amended to violation of Republic Act 9262:
AN ACT DEFINING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN, PROVIDING FOR PROTECTIVE MEASURES FOR VICTIMS, PRESCRIBING PENALTIES THEREFORE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES…
The Korean spouse is also being charged with rape.
Though I don’t favor the Korean party’s threats, there were some questions running in my mind as I was listening to the complainant’s story. Why would she accept all those lavish gifts if she didn’t think the Korean wanted something from her besides friendship? Why didn’t she go to the police before her wedding or the honeymoon? Why did she wait for two months, for the Korean to come to the Philippines to get her, if she really didn’t want to go with him to Korea? Did her family receive any money from the Korean? Was the Korean aware of the agreement and the threats, or were they all the ideas of the interpreter?
In “Imbestigador”, only the side of the complainant was heard. Her parents were not interviewed. The Korean, the interpreter and the photographer who was with them during the sting operation refused to talk to the press.
I showed the video to my husband and explained the story to him. Like me, he believes that the Filipinos involved in this arranged marriage should also be charged, the parents, who agreed to the marriage, and the driver (of the Korean) who introduced the complainant to the Korean.
To see the full story on “Imbestigador”, you may click this link.
This serves as warning to both Filipinos and Koreans who are involved in arranged marriages or matchmaking. Though matchmaking is becoming quite common these days, it is still ILLEGAL in the Philippines.
- Korean Mail-order-bride Syndicate Caught in the Philippines (chrissantosra.wordpress.com)
- Why I Married a Korean (chrissantosra.wordpress.com)
- The Assumption in the Philippines of Marriage As a Lifelong Commitment… (prweb.com)
- The Mail Order Millionaire (bradkamanskiblog.wordpress.com)
- The Mail Order Bride Law (newsinfo.inquirer.net)