• Govt recalls envoys in OFW sex scandal

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    Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario

    Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario

    Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Wednesday recalled the ambassadors and labor officials from the Philippine embassies in Jordan, Syria and Kuwait who were implicated in the sexual abuse and harassment of Filipina migrant workers.

    In a press conference, del Rosario said he already knows the identity of one of the possible victims. He admitted that he found the sex charges “disconcerting.”

    He said the heads of the embassies and the labor officials were ordered back to Manila as soon as possible so that the department can check the reports implicating them. It will also give them a chance to air their sides. “I have said that I will stay personally on top of these situations to make sure that investigations are transparent, comprehensive and undertaken as early and as expeditiously as possible,” said del Rosario, who met with Rep. Walden Bello at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

    On Tuesday, Bello claimed 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 and making them work as prostitutes there.

    “Kim” is 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.

    Del Rosario said the DFA will work closely with Bello “and we made sure that we share with him exactly how we are approaching this very serious problem.”

    During his meeting with the congressman, del Rosario found out that Bello’s source was a senior DFA official.

    The secretary lamented that the official chose to reveal the problem to Bello.

    “If you [senior official]are duly concerned about our dealing with this, you should have come to see me,” he said, adding that he doesn’t plan to confront that senior official, which he has already identified.

    Even if no formal complaint has been filed, the secretary said the department will reach out to the victims. “We will be sourcing some of these people we think are the complainants. We at least know one name. We will try to access that person, so she can tell us [even]verbally what happened so we can input that into our investigation,” del Rosario said.

    He pledged to provide security to the victims if they decide to come forward.

    Aside from investigating the alleged sexual abuses, del Rosario said his office will also find out how the ambassadors in those posts handled the problem when it was brought to their attention.

    The department will soon be forming a group to look into the incidents, the secretary said. A team may also be sent to the posts in Syria, Jordan and Kuwait to augment the investigation that will be conducted here.

    OWWA probe
    Carmelita Dimzon, head of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), also said on Wednesday Labor Secretary Ro­salinda Baldoz has started looking into the matter.
    “Secretary Baldoz had already formed an investigating team for this purpose,” Baldoz told The Manila Times over the phone.

    She said the task force has also been urging the victims of abuse, negligence or illegal recruitment committed by embassy officials to come out and file formal complaints.

    She assured OFWs they would be given protection if they decide to come out and face their assailants.

    Dimzon is scheduled to present today Antonio, one of the officials named by Bello.
    Antonio has denied the allegations.

    Vice President Jejomar Binay urged Filipino workers abroad to file complaints against embassy staff who have committed acts of abuse, negligence or illegal recruitment.

    Binay, Presidential Adviser on overseas Filipino workers’ affairs (OFW), vowed his office will see to it that the reports will be given due action.

    “I encourage those who know of any abuse or mistreatment inflicted on our OFWs to report these cases to me so my office could extend them the needed assistance,” he said.
    At the Senate, Sen. Loren Legar­da said officials who abused OFWs should be punished.
    “This should not be tolerated, should be investigated, should be meted the full force of the law, if true,” Legarda stressed.

    Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, head of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Overseas Workers’ Affairs, said if the allegations were true, the three embassy officials implicated in the scandals should be charged and tried in the countries where they committed the crime. If proven guilty, he said it is likely they will be meted the death penalty.

    An official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Wednesday supported the government inquiry on the abuse of OFWs.

    CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Migrant and Itinerant People (ECMI) Chairman Bishop Prescioso Cantillas said they are hoping the perpetrators of such exploitation will be punished immediately.

    “It is good that our government agencies are taking steps to solve this evil scheme of our own government officials and we hope that those found guilty will really be made accountable,” the bishop said over Church-run Radio Veritas.

    ECMI Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Corros said the4 victims need “real justice”.

    “Concerned government agencies should really investigate and the culprits should face the consequence of their deeds,” Corros said.

    Last week, it was reported that a Filipino official in Kuwait demanded to have sex with an unidentified female household service worker (HSW) to facilitate her return to the country from the Kuwaiti Deportation Center.

    Investigation
    Baldoz said the investigating team will be headed by Leah Fortuna from the Office of the Secretary, with Ophelia Almenario from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and Rosemarie Duquez from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) as members.

    With Jefferson Antiporda And Johanna M. Sampan

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    6 Comments

    1. tanggalin agad at parusahan kapal muks nyo kahiya kayo mga ambassador kuno Pilipino din kayo kahihiyan din nyo yon may mga anak din kayong babae sana makarma kayo at mangyari yan sa anak nyo.mga putang ina nyo ambassador

    2. This problem of our OFW is not new long before ilang dekada nakalipas, Hanggang ngayon wla parin naparusahan, Dming pamilya na nawasak dhil d2. Siguro sa aming mga OFW ay suwertehan nalang. if remember may nagsabi pang isang offecial ng goberno na e enjoy na lang daw. yung mga ganitong problema.

      • elmer magada on

        matagal ng panahon yan,bulag @bingi ang taong gobyerno,ang mga kawatan…..sayang ang maraming panahong nagdaan,tell now ala p rin pagbabago….mga inutil kc…….

    3. sana umpisa na eto na parusahan ang mga nagkasala at wag ng palampasin pa para d na mangyayari sa iba. kung ako lang ang masusunod at kung mapatunayan na sllay nagkasala ay dapat lang na maparusahan sa puersa ng law d2 man sa pinas o sa ibang bansa

    4. This is a wake-up call to all DFA and other government employees over staying their positions abroad.
      RECALL everybody and infuse young and honest blood! Unahin ang Consulado ng San Francisco, California!

    5. DYNASTY sa POLITICA pati na sa CONSULADO ng San FRANCISCO!
      (MGA BWAYA sa PWESTO)!

      Panawagan sa mamayan PILIPINO na ibunyag ang mga pagsasamantala sa pwesto ng mga katuwali sa consulado sa San Francisco California, USA
      Ang mga mangagawa na matagal na nagsasamantala sa pwesto ng GOBYERNO sa consulado ng San Francisco ay ang mga sumusunod.

      Sa Departamento ng Foreign Affairs: Ang mga kamaganak pati na ang mga magulang ay pinagtratrabaho bilang care giver. Ang mga anak ay pinagsasamantalahan and kabutihan ng Amerika na bigyan ng libreng edukasyon at ay ayaw na umuwi sa Pilipinas ang mga anak. Ang mga naghihintay na pagkakataon sa mga ibang kagawad na sanga ng atin gobyerno ay nakakabinbin at wala na pagaasang makamit any kanilang pangarap na manungkulan para sa atin Inang Bayan.

      Kung may DYNASTY sa politika, mayroon din Dynasty sa consulado ng California San Francisco.

      Nanawagan ako sa mamayan ng aking Bayan na MADALIIN suruin ng mabuti ang mga makapagsamantala na mga kagawad na empleyado ng Consulado ng Pilipinas sa San Francisco.

      Tawagan and inyong mga kagawad sa Gobyerno at paimbistigahan ang mga PAMILYA na matagal na naninirihan sa San Francisco. Ito ay isang PAGSASAMANTALA sa kapanyarihan! Repasuhin and pagpapadala ng mga taong galling sa Gobyerno na dapat may hangang araw sa panunungkulan sa Overseas. KAAWA AWA naman ang mga taong sa gobyernon saPilipinas na gusto matikman at patunayan sa kanilang sarili na may mabuti silang agenda para sa mga taong nangangailang ng tulong sa Consulado sa San Francisco.

      Kailangan na pagbigyan ang mga kabataan ng minilbihan sa atin gobyerno para and ginhawa ay makalat sa mahihirap at hindi sa mga pamilya na magpasamantalam na kagaya ng mga taong nandirito mahigit na sa SAMPUNG TAON. Hanga sa Amerika ay umiiral and PAGSASAMANTALA ng mga taong na sa PWESTO!

      MAHIYA KAYO NASA CONSULADO NG SAN FRANCISCO! Pagbigyan naman ninyo ang mga nasa MAYNILA na hindi pa nabibigyan ng Pagkakataon ng manugkulan sa HIMPAPAWID!

      Ang mga OVER STAYING at Kapit TUKO ng mga mangagawa sa atin Konsulado sa San Francosco, California.
      Philipppine Trade and Investment: 415-773-2336 –Mylene – 15 years
      Philippines Department of Tourism : 415-520-7250 – Rene – 20 years; Debbie – 15 years; Anonymous – 15 years (dala pa ang anak sa trabaho)
      Philippine Center: 415-982-6153
      Philippine Consulate: 433-6666 – Kahit wala na sa panunungkulan ay may pabor na hinihingi para sa mga kailbigan at kamag anak.

      Tax free and mga trabahador sa gobyerno sa ibang bansa. Pati na and kanilang pamilya at Kamganakan ay kumikita ng US dollars na hindi nagdedeclare ng tamang buwis sa Pinas. Repasuhin ang mga trabador ng Philippine embassy at ang mga Consulado sa ibang bansa. BIGYAN lang ng TANING ang kanilang mga ASSIGNMENT.

      Mga ABUSADO MANGAGAWA ng GOBYERNO. MGA kapit TUKO sa PWESTO!

      Unahin imbestigahan ang Philippine Consulate sa San Francisco, California.

      Tama iyan sinabi mo. Kailangan bigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga nagtratrabaho sa Maynila. Tulad sa Consulado sa San Francisco ay parang pagaari na ng mga trabahador na matatagal nanunungkulan sa gobyerno. Kaiangan ma AUDIT ang mga kinikita ng mga trabahadura na eto.