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Philippines forms panels to hear cases vs labour attachés
Publication Date : 26-08-2013
The Philippines' Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) has released the names of the members of the two special hearing panels that will handle the charges filed against two labour officials earlier implicated in a sex-for-repatriation scheme.
Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz issued Administrative Order Nos. 331 and 332 creating the two hearing panels that will separately handle the gross negligence case against labour attaché for Riyadh Adam Musa and the grave misconduct case against officer in charge labour attaché for Jordan Mario Antonio.
Lawyer Marion Sevilla will lead the team handling Musa’s case. Other members of Sevilla’s team are lawyer Ina Claire Guan and DOLE Overseas Employment Administration representative Adoracion Ducduc.
Mediator Arbiter Eve Ramos will chair the panel that will handle Antonio’s case. She will be joined by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) director Nini Lanto and an official from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa).
Musa and Antonio were among the three labour officials implicated in the sex-for-repatriation controversy.
The third official, Riyadh Assistant labour attaché Antonio Villafuerte, is facing a charge of simple negligence despite accusations of inappropriate behaviour and attempted rape by female overseas Filipino workers.
The charges against the three officials were not related to the sex-for-repatriation allegations but for other infractions, including their “failure to do their duties well.”
Both Musa and Antonio, based on the fact-finding investigation, were found to have committed “flagrant, willful and deliberate violations of the civil service rule.”
Villafuerte, on the other hand, was charged with “failing to take care of overseas Filipino workers” in his jurisdiction.
Baldoz said the fact-finding team tasked to look into the controversy did not find any evidence of a sex-for-repatriation scheme. She said the investigation showed that some distressed workers had apparently been recruited into a prostitution ring, but this did not involve labour personnel.
Baldoz said the creation of the special hearing panels aims to expedite the resolution of the cases of the labour officials.