- The DOLE has ordered the recall of the labor attaché in Hong Kong
- The move sparked anger among the Filipino communities
- Labor attaché Dela Torre blamed an alleged human trafficking ring as behind the move
- But Bello defended his recall order of Dela Torre
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has reportedly ordered the recall of Manila’s labor attaché in Hong Kong; sparking outrage among the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) working there.
Speaking to South China Morning Post, HK labor attaché Jalilo Dela Torre said he was surprised after receiving the recall order from Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III through an email.
Earlier, Bello is said to have assured the Filipino community in Hong Kong that rumors about Dela Torre’s imminent recall was nothing but ‘fake news’.
“Of course I was surprised as [Bello] was interviewed [by Filipino community newspapers] and he assured an interviewer it’s fake news. When I finally received it last Friday I was a bit surprised,” said Dela Torre.
OFWs are angered by the Philippine government’s move, with some even blaming the “Davao mafia” as behind it.
Dela Torre is known among migrant workers as the one who fought for better working conditions for OFWs. He also exposed the alleged cases of human trafficking wherein recruitment agencies were duping unsuspecting domestic helpers who were promised US visa but ended up working in Turkey or Russia.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Dela Torre wrote: “A human trafficker in Turkey has just taken credit for my recall. Either this proves that they are involved somehow or they are taking advantage of the situation to advance their own predatory human trafficking operations. Cheap shot.”
But Bello defended his recall order of Dela Torre; saying the latter has been accused of abusing his discretion in the accreditation of recruitment agencies.
The Labor chief added Dela Torre is now being investigated and his recall order stands until he is proven innocent of committing irregularities in his job.