TWO days before he arrived in the country, Asst. Labor Attachè in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Antonio Villafuerte threatened some of the distressed overseas Filipino Workers staying at the Bahay Kalinga, a migrant workers group said on Monday.
John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East/North Africa coordinator said he received information that Villa-fuerte got mad at the OFWs after he was dragged in the sex-for-flight scheme.
“He [Villafuerte] threatened and cursed those who are in the ward saying that they invented stories against him,” Monterona told The Manila Times in an interview.
This, according to Monterona, could be the reason why other OFWs are afraid to come out in the open and file formal complaints against Villafuerte.
He also urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to immediately place the three victims and their witnesses under the government’s Witness Protection Program.
“We strongly urge the DOJ to grant protection to the three victims of the scheme amid report of threats from the accused labor official,” he added.
The three Filipina workers who allegedly suffered sexual abuse from embassy officials in the Middle East had asked the DOJ to protect them so they can further shed light on the controversy.
But their request is still being studied by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Michelle also earlier claimed that her female witness has been pursued by Villafuerte in an attempt to convince her not to testify against him.
Monterona said the Department of Labor and Employment should confront Villafuerte and order him to stop undue pressure and desist in threatening his victims.