Jun 28, 2013

Sex For Flight

MANILA, Philippines - Three Filipino workers are seeking government protection after they accused a Philippine labor officer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia of molesting them.

Aside from the abuse, they also accused some embassy officials of selling free tickets to other distressed OFWs.

The 3 alleged victims of the "sex-for-flight" scheme accused Riyadh assistant labor attaché Antonio Villafuerte of molesting and attempting to prostitute them.

Speaking on ANC's Headstart, "Angel", who sought help from the Philippine embassy after she escaped from an employer who raped her, said Villafuerte further demeaned her.

"Tinanong niya ako diretsahan saan daw ako tinira nung employer ko, sa harap ba daw po o sa likod. Masarap ba daw ho," she said. "Unexpected ho talaga dahil mataas siyang tao."

Angel also narrated how Villafuerte offered her to have sex with Middle Eastern men in exchange for a return ticket to the Philippines.

"Tumanggi po ako kasi hindi naman porke't katulong kami hindi naman kami basta-basta papayag sa ganung trabaho. Naapakan na nga po kami, lalo pa kaming aapakan," she said.

"Michelle", who used to work for the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Riyadh, said she even heard Villafuerte's casual remarks to Angel over a phone conversation on loudspeaker.

Michelle said she was also molested by Villafuerte inside his office.

"Sinabi niya 'O, sana sinubo mo na lang.' Nadampian niya po ng konti yung labi ko pero sabi ko huwag po. Mext move niya hinawakan maselang bahagi ng dibdib, minash po niya," she said. "Mamaya, tinataas na yung abaya ko. Doon na ako nagpumiglas."

"Analisa", who also sought help from the POLO office after escaping ill treatment from her employer in Riyadh, said Villafuerte also made sexual advances on her.

"Mukhang mabait siya hindi mo akalain na gago," she said. "Sinabihan niya nahipuan ka ba ng employer mo, nung sinabi ko hindi, sabi nya gusto mo ba ako na muna ang humipo dyan."

They allege that plane tickets intended by government for the repatriation of distressed OFWs were supposed to be free but were being dangled by embassy officials for undocumented OFWs desperate to go home.

Analiza said one OFW was forced to pay 2,400 riyals or P50,000 for her ticket home.

The three have submitted their sworn statements to the Labor Department and are seeking protection for themselves and their families.

They also appeal to other victims to come forward.

The Labor Department, meanwhile, has recalled Villafuerte amid ongoing investigations by government. source


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