Bello slams DFA for keeping rape case under wraps
MANILA - Akbayan Representative and House Overseas Workers Affairs Committee Chair Walden Bello slammed the Department of Foreign Affairs for failing to report to the committee the case of a Filipino foreign service employee accused of rape in Tehran, Iran just last year.
Bello named the accused as FSSE3 (Foreign Service Staff Employee 3) Elky Malvas who he said is now in hiding. A Pasay City prosecutor filed a case against him for the allegation.
"Certainly, the rape case committed by FSSE in Tehran which wasn't in the paper submitted by DFA came out today. The Issue regarding the completeness of the report provided by the DFA was called into question," he said.
Bello said this proves the need for a third party to do an independent report on the DFA and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) monitoring and prosecution of cases of sexual abuse alleged against their personnel.
"The gaps in the report regarding individuals and their actions came out which means that for both agencies, it's really important a third party comes together to be able to really say it's independent report not to protect people in agencies but bring them to criminal prosecution," Bello said.
Bello isn't satisfied that both agencies seem content with handling only administrative cases and leaving the criminal prosecution to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
He cited that assistant Labor attaché Antonio Villafuerte was recommended by the NBI to be charged for attempted rape in connection with earlier reported cases of "sex for flight" abuses.
"The DOLE report is saying Mr. Vllafuerte is going to be disciplined for simple negligence. What we ended up is to say DOJ (Department of Justice) has to definitely step into this so we can get to the root of the matter. We're talking about 20-25 people involved and named here and NBI has so far recommended prosecution of 2. We've got quite a way to go at this point in time this is what came out today," said Bello.
Bello slammed the DFA for what he said was a vague explanation as to why the rape complaint against the FSSE wasn't included in the report.
DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Jesus Yabes told the committee that the rape case wasn't in the report because it wasn't part of the probe on the sex for flight schemes.
Bello said, "If most serious case of rape is omitted from the list of DFA cases then I feel there is, this could be the charge for a cover up that's why I was quite upset."