• Witness in sex-for-flight scandal withdraws

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    ONE of the vital witnesses in the “sex-for-flight” scheme has already withdrawn from giving testimonies against Asst. Labor Attachè in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Antonio Villafuerte.

    According to Michelle, one of the three overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who came out in the open and admitted that she was raped by Villafuerte, said that her male witness is nowhere to be found.

    “Umurong na yung lalake kong testigo. Hindi na siya nagrireply at dinideadma na niya ako [My male witness has already withdrawn. He does not communicate with me anymore],” Michelle told The Manila Times in an interview.

    She said that the male witness had promised her that he will testify against Villafuerte, but as time went by she could no longer contact him.

    Michelle said she was acquainted with the male OFW who was also a run-away like her when he sought assistance from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Riyadh.

    She said that the male OFW witnessed how she was summoned by Villafuerte to one of his offices in the POLO, where the alleged sexual abuse happened.

    “Nagulat nga ako dahil alam ng lalakeng ito ang pangmumulestiya sa akin dahil nakita pala niya ang pagpasok at paglabas ko sa opisina ni [I was surprised that this male OFW knew about the incident because he saw me entering and leaving the office of] Villafuerte,” she added.

    According to Michelle, she revealed the identity of her male witness when she was invited to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) office.

    “Nagkamali talaga ako na binanggit ko ang pangalan niya kasi pagkatapos nun hindi na niya ako sinasagot sa mga tawag ko [It was really a big mistake to identify him because after that he never communicated with me],” she added.

    Meanwhile, Michelle said that Villafuerte has constantly been communicating with the parents of her female witness.

    “Hinihingi niya yung number ng babaeng testigo ko at sinasabi niya na kung puwedeng humingi ng tulong [He keeps on asking the contact number of my female witness and asked for her parent’s help],” she added.

    She believed that Villafuerte is trying to convince the female witness not to pursue in giving her testimonies against him.

    Michelle admitted during a press conference in Taguig City that she was raped by Villafuerte in one of his offices at the POLO sometime on May 19 or three days before she was repatriated to the country.

    According to her, Villafuerte sexually molested her when she went to the POLO office to follow up her case.

    To prove her claim, Michelle said that she would be presenting a female witness, who also stayed at the Bahay Kalinga when the abuse happened.

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