Press Release
June 26, 2013


The Villar Foundation, through its managing director, Senator-elect Cynthia Villar, on Wednesday provided assistance to the 3 victims of 'sex-for-flight' scheme involving Riyadh Asst. Labor Attache Antonio Villafuerte.

Villar met the victims in a restaurant in Taguig and personally handed to them the help coming from the foundation.

The help consisted of cash amount to cover the travelling expenses of the distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in going back to their respective families.

The foundation, which has been affording assistance to OFWs for years, also gave groceries to the three so they can start small businesses.

"This is in line with our livelihood program. They can put up a sari-sari store with the groceries. Now, it is up to them to do their best for their small business to grow," said Villar who has also been known as Misis Hanepbuhay for providing jobs to Filipinos.

With the ordeal suffered by the three, Villar stressed there is more reason for the coming 16th Congress to push for the creation of the Department of Overseas Filipino Workers (DOFW).

She said the creation of a department solely dedicated to OFWs would simplify and harmonize efforts to look after them and secure their welfare and rights.

"We should ensure that our OFWs are always protected since they are our 'modern day heroes', and we draw a lifeline from the remittances they send to their families in the country," pointed out by Villar.

Two of the three victims, Angel and Annaliza said that while at Bahay Kalinga in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Villafuerte told them to do a part time job as 'sex worker' to raise money for their plane ticket in returning to the Philippines. However, they refused to follow him.

The 28-year old Angel, who is from Mindanao, told Villar she left the country last May 8, 2013 and worked as domestic helper in Riyadh. Unfortunately, she was raped by her employer so she ran away and sought refuge at the Philippine Embassy.

Annaliza, 38, who hailed from a province in Luzon, was physically abused by her employer and was not fed well since she started her work in Riyadh last December 27, 2012.

Her employer also failed to comply with the contract after her salary was reduced from $400 dollars to 800 Saudi Riyal. She escaped from her employer's house last February 5, 2013.

On the other hand, Michelle, 39, accused Villafuerte of sexually molesting her. She remembered that on May 19, 2013, she went to the POLO office to follow up her case after escaping from her employer's house due to non-compliance of her contract. She was then directed by Villafuerte to bring his bag upstairs to his office and open the aircon.

Upon entering the room, she said Villafuerte touched her breast and kissed her prompting her to fight back and rushed towards the door and went out of his office.

Michelle, who lives with a relative in the National Capital Region, said she left the country last March 28, 2013 to work as beautician in Riyadh. However, her employer's salon was still under construction so she was asked to be the family's personal groomer.

Last April 18, she ran away from her employer's house and stayed at the Bahay Kalinga. She visited Villafuerte on several occasions to coordinate her case.

Villafuerte has been recalled to the country for investigation while the three has already submitted their sworn statements to the Labor Department.

Meanwhile, Villar's husband, outgoing Senator Manny Villar, also the foundation chairman, has assured to closely monitor the cases of the three even if he becomes a private citizen next week.

"I will watch over their cases, and make sure that something will happen. We will not allow any whitewash," promised Villar who cited the need to pursue the creation of the DOFW to have coordinated efforts in addressing all concerns of OFWs.

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