MANILA, June 19, 2013— The head of the Catholic Church’s migrant ministry has condemned the ‘sex-for-fly’ scandal allegedly involving Philippine Embassy officials.
Bishop Precioso Cantillas of the Episcopal Commission for Pastoral Care for Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) said he had been particularly struck by reports that most victims are distressed female overseas Filipino workers.
“We are sad and we condemn all forms of exploitation committed by anybody against our OFWs. They’ve suffered enough that they don’t deserve to be treated like that,” Cantillas said over Church-run Radyo Veritas.
A lawmaker yesterday revealed that at least three Philippine Embassy officials in the Middle East are sexually abusing and prostituting distressed OFWs by offering them repatriation in exchange of sex.
AKBAYAN party-list Rep. Walden Bello said the foreign affairs and labor departments must prosecute these officials from Philippine overseas offices and stripped of their positions.
Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario immediately assured of a probe as he ordered the accused to come home immediately and face investigation.
Bishop Cantillas has welcomed the move for an immediate investigation, adding that every effort should be made to resolve the issue.
“What the DOLE and DFA are doing is good to solve the problem involving government officials,” he said.
Scalabrinian Missionary Fr. Edwin Corros, ECMI executive secretary, said that sex-for-fly scheme had been existing “long time ago.”
“This issue is quite complicated. But there are victims seeking justice. Concerned government agencies must really investigate and the culprits should face the consequence of their deed,” Corros said. (CBCPNews)