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Pinoy Mail-Order Groom on the Rise
« on: December 02, 2010, 08:19:02 AM »
By Malen Jaymalin
Philippine Star

Mail-order groom? Gone are the days when only Filipino women signed up in the mail-order bride scheme to find a foreign husband. Now, even Filipino men are entering brokered marriages with foreign women.

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) yesterday reported that they have recently been receiving complaints from male victims of the mail order bride scheme.

“We have been getting two to three of such cases a month and a majority of the complainants were women, but there were also male complainants from time to time,” CFO chief emigrant service officer Golda Myra Roma said in an interview.

She explained that male victims of the mail order bride scheme will have a harder time pursuing a complaint in court in case of abuse by their spouses because the existing Anti Mail Order Bride Law only covers female victims.

Even for women victims of the scheme, Roma said most of the complaints do not reach the court.

The CFO has recorded only one complaint filed in court.

“We have assisted a Filipina who married a Korean national through mail order bride scheme in filing a case against her husband in 2001,” Roma said.

Male victims can only prosecute for abuse, under the Anti-Human Trafficking law. 

“The existing law is very restrictive because it only covers Filipinas and that it should be proven that there is remuneration, a third party was involved in the introduction to the foreign national,” Roma said. “Our only remedy for male victims at this time is the anti-trafficking law, but under such regulation, we have to prove abuses unlike in the mail order bride law. ”

She said there is a need to amend the law against the mail order spouse scheme to include male victims of the practice.

To minimize the incidence of Filipinos entering into brokered marriages, the CFO has been providing counseling services for Filipinos who are marrying foreigners.

“We presumed that those who are going to us for the mandated counseling are entering into legitimate and not brokered marriages. But we must also protect Filipino women from exploitation by way of brokered marriages so we are launching a massive campaign,” said CFO chair Imelda Nicolas.

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