700 Pinoys duped by kababayan in Spain

Posted at 08/02/12 4:55 PM

SPAIN – Around 700 Filipinos based in Barcelona had to forego their trip back to the Philippines after they were duped by a kababayan who allegedly pocketed the money they paid for plane tickets.

“Yung mga binayad raw naming pera ay hindi raw napupunta sa KLM, hindi napabayad, ibinulsa ng mga ahensyang yan,” said Romeldo Sangalang.

Sangalang and 16 other members of his family were among the hundreds allegedly victimized by Victor Martin Ordonez Jimenez.

Many used their savings while others borrowed money just to buy the 680 to 880 euros per ticket from KLM.

The victims blame the travel agencies that sold them the tickets. However, the agencies stressed that they were also victimized by Jimenez.

“Hindi lang kami ang biktima, marami pa ibang Filipino travel agencies. Pakiusap ko sa inyong lahat konting pasensiya at konsiderasyon at sana po ay harapin ni Victor Ordonez Jimenez ang kanyang responsibilidad sa mga tao at sa batas,” said Jessica Lozano Adatu, manager of Viatges Traveljess.

Adatu already filed a complaint against Jimenez and two others. The victims also brought their case to the police.

Meanwhile, KLM denied that Jimenez was their agent. In a statement written in Spanish, KLM stated that they are studying their next move.

ABS-CBN Europe tried to get Jimenez to comment on the accusations against him but he declined. He said he has to consult with a lawyer first.

Jimenez could no longer be contacted when ABS-CBN Europe conducted a follow-up inquiry.

A task force was formed that would assist the victims.

“Hindi na po ako nagdalawang-isip na mag-set ng meeting para makakuha ng advice sa konsulado at saka makausap ang mga biktima. Sana po tulung-tulong tayo sa paghanap ng hustisya,” said Karl Peralta, coordinator of Task Force KLM Barcelona. Report from Daniel Infante Tuano, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau