PH envoy to Kuwait back home to answer harassment raps

Posted at 11/15/12 3:57 PM

DFA assures fair trial

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Shulan Primavera is already in the country to answer allegations in connection with the sexual harassment complaint filed against him by a Filipina maid.

In a press conference, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Raul Hernandez said a fact-finding team has started collecting statements and evidence separately from Primavera and the maid on Thursday morning until afternoon.

The fact-finding team will determine if there is prima facie evidence or legitimate concern to bring formal charges against him, he said.

An investigation will only proceed if there is a legitimate concern made. “While the investigation is ongoing, he will stay here in the meantime. The number two, the Charge d’Affaire in Kuwait will handle [the embassy in Kuwait],” Hernandez said.

He stressed, however, that Primavera will remain ambassador while an investigation is ongoing.

The investigation, which also needs to be approved by the President, will be handled by a committee.

Hernandez said he can’t give a timeline due to a slew of factors, which includes the pieces of evidence needed to be obtained and the strength of the case.

The investigating committee will then give a detailed report to the Board of Foreign Service Administration for further analysis. Any recommendation will be given to the Foreign Affairs Secretary and the President, the disciplining authority.

“[The process] will be strictly confidential…We are enjoining the [complainant and respondent] and also the media to respect the process. We assure you there will be a fair trial,” he said.

Primavera has been an envoy to Kuwait since 2010. He already denied the charges, noting some of his critics only want him ousted from office. He has been in the Foreign Service for over 40 years already.