Labor chief dares accuser: File corruption raps

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2018 11:16 AM

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Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Tuesday challenged an advocacy group to lodge a formal complaint if it can back up its allegations of corruption against him.

Alie Dizon, secretary general of Samahang Pagbabago National Movement for Change, urged Bello on Monday to step down from office, claiming that he extorted money from employment agencies.

"Kung ako ang abogado niya, sasabihin ko sa kaniya, 'Kung mayroon kang ebidensya laban kay Secretary Bello, huwag kang sa media pumunta. Pumunta ka sa Department of Justice o kaya sa Ombudsman, sampahan mo ng reklamo," Bello said in a DZMM interview.

(If I were her lawyer, I'd tell her, 'If you have evidence against Secretary Bello, don't go to the media. Go to the Department of Justice or the Ombudsman, file a complaint.)

Dizon had cited an affidavit by Azizzah Salim, owner of an employment agency, who had supposedly accused Bello and Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say of extorting some P6.8 million.

Dizon also alleged that Bello did not help the cause of OFWs particularly with the case of “Mercy,” who was separated from her 9-month-old baby in Saudi Arabia.

Bello said Azzizah, in a recent meeting with Malacañang officials, said that she did not prepare the affidavit cited by Dizon and was only made to sign it.

Mercy's case, meanwhile, falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Foreign Affairs. DNA tests are also needed to prove that the OFW is the baby's mother, he added.

Bello said the corruption claims may be aimed at derailing his application to head the Office of the Ombudsman or may have been manufactured by those who want to replace him as Labor chief.

DZMM, 17 June 2018