Eight more Philippine ambassadors from the Middle East have been asked to come home to provide more insight and information to the investigation being conducted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the alleged sexual abuses of certain diplomatic officials against distressed Filipina workers there.
Raul Hernandez, Foreign Affairs spokesman, said the diplomats will serve as consultants in the investigation.
“We need to have our ambassadors participate in the fact-finding initiatives that the Department of Foreign Affairs has started,” Hernandez said in a press briefing.
Asked to come home are the envoys from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya and Lebanon.
On Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario recalled Charge d’Affaires Nestor Padalhan of Syria, Ambassador Olivia Palala of Jordan and Charge d’Affaires Raul Dado of Kuwait, as well as the three officials accused of sexually harassing and prostituting overseas Filipino workers (OFW) seeking refuge in Philippine missions after running afoul of local authorities.
Rep. Walden Bello on Tuesday alleged that a certain “Kim,” Mario Antonio and Blas Marquez from the Philippine missions in Syria, Jordan and Kuwait, were demanding sexual favors from distressed Filipino workers.
Bello identified “Kim” as a member of the Foreign Affairs department’s augmentation team at the Philippine Embassy in Damascus, Syria. Antonio is the assistant labor attache in Jordan while Marquez is a local hire of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Kuwait.
BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON