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Malacanang assures fair probe on sex-for-fly-ops vs embassy officials; Sen. Legarda condems abuses

Malacanang assured on Sunday that the probe into an alleged scandal concerning embassy officials abroad preying on the plight of distressed overseas Filipino workers will be fair.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte vowed in an interview aired over government-run radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, that any official found culpable for said offense would be dealt with according to the law.

“So the initial actions are already ongoing. As you all know, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs has already met with the victims who have come forward, and we assure everybody that the investigations will be fair and that the investigations will take into consideration all the evidence or the testimonies that will be submitted to it,” Valte said.

“And if, at the end of it, there is a finding that there is a culpability then the persons who are found to be liable will be held so,” she added.

On Saturday, Valte said the government was ready to extend assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who reportedly fell victim to a “sex-for-fly” scheme allegedly arranged by embassy personnel in the Middle East.

The Palace official also assured the public that the ongoing investigation will be fair and straightforward and everything will be based on the evidence presented. PND (rck)

Earlier Philippine Senator Loren Legarda  condemned last June 19 the reported forced prostitution of distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) allegedly involving three Philippine embassy officials in the Middle East.

The Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations noted news reports which revealed that three Philippine embassy officials are allegedly involved in “sex-for-fly” operations, engaging in acts with fellow Filipinos staying in OFW shelters in Amman, Jordan, Kuwait, and Damascus, Syria in exchange for the Filipino workers’ repatriation.

“This should not be tolerated, should be investigated, should be meted the full force of the law, if true,” said Legarda.

“But we should be careful in generalizing statements because most of our Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) officials here and abroad are competent and should not be tainted by a few bad eggs,” she added.

“It’s already hard for Filipinos working abroad to be apart from their families. It is harder when they get abused or duped by their agencies or employers. It is unforgivable when the people, their fellow countrymen at that, who they expect to help them and provide them protection, are the ones who would subject them to further abuse and suffering,” Legarda said.