Human trafficking official relieved from duties – Manila takes swift action
KUWAIT: A Philippine Embassy official who was recently implicated in a case of human trafficking and abuse of power has been recalled and effectively discharged of his duties at the embassy. Daligdig Tanandato, former head of Assistance-to- Nationals Unit (ATNU) will be subjected to administrative proceedings when he returns to Manila at Marchend. A letter from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, addressed to this Kuwait Times reporter and duly signed by the Philippines Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Melita Sta Maria, said Tanandatu will be subjected to administrative procedures, and if warranted, face whatever charges may be filed against him including the specific complaint reported in the Kuwait Times. “I refer to your news article ‘Filipina accuses embassy official of human trafficking’ which appeared in the 25 February, 2013 issue of Kuwait Times.
I take this opportunity to inform you (Kuwait Times) that the Department has been aware of this, as well as other allegations and complaints against Daligdig Tanandato,” the letter read.
To quote further, the letter stated: “As you are aware, earlier this month (February), the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila dispatched a management audit team to look into the situation at the Embassy in Kuwait. Upon the arrival of the management team, Tanandato was immediately relieved of his duty as head of the Assistance-to-Nationals Unit and was prohibited from further action on OFW cases.” Tanandato is expected to reach Manila before the end of March. “Relocating from one post to another entails some time to make necessary travel and other personal arrangements for Tanandato and his family.
I wish to assure you that the complaints against Tanandato are being acted upon,” the letter read. Towards the end of last month, a Filipina businesswoman, who owns a salon in Salmiya, accused a Philippines embassy official of indulging in human trafficking and harassing her. The woman, who identified herself as Moneera, accused Tanandato of selling her a runaway housemaid worth KD600 to work at her salon, an allegation he vehemently denied. The money was allegedly given by Moneera to Tanadato’s sister-inlaw, who, she alleged, shelters runaway housemaids at her home to eventually hand them over to prospective employers, an accusation she denied when contacted by this reporter.
Moneera reiterated that Tanandato was selling housemaids instead of helping them. “He would sell these ladies to new employers and make money. I am one of those who bought the housemaid from him,” Moneera told the Kuwait Times in that interview. Source: http://news.kuwaittimes.net/2013/03/11/human-trafficking-official-relieved-from-duties-manila-takes-swift-action/