At the initial hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the controversial “sex for flight” scandal, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. exposed glaring inconsistencies in the testimony of a labor attaché after grilling him over allegations of coddling his driver accused of raping a distressed Overseas Filipino Worker in a temporary shelter for distressed OFWs in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Witness Grace Sales, also known as “Josie, alleged that Labor Attache Adam Musa tried to buy her silence with 10,000 Saudi riyals—equivalent to the 3-month salary of accused driver identified as “Jojo” -- and “authorization” so she could stay and work legally in Saudi Arabia.
Musa said he did his best to protect “Josie”, claiming he exerted all efforts to find Josie when she ran away to find out what happened and that he later fired Jojo as a result of the incident, only to say later that the driver did not renew a “finished contract”.
“So why did you not fire him (Jojo), if you know that he had to pay?” Marcos said, noting Musa admitted knowing of about the settlement with Josie of about $2,400 which is “not a small amount of money”.
“Because it was written in the letter of Josie that they have settled,” Musa answered.
Marcos said the supposed settlement between Josie and Jojo is irrelevant, adding: “Ang importante dyan ay isang empleyado mo ay may ginawang ganitong klaseng kalaswaan. Sapat na dapat iyon para tanggalin mo sya sa trabaho, bakit hindi mo ginawa?”
While Musa claimed at the start that he was not able to proceed with his investigation of Jojo because they could not locate Josie after she ran away, he later admitted that his staff Edith Aquino managed to talk to Josie. Musa said he tried to personally talk to Josie but she refused to see him in his office.
“O di sana pumunta kayo sa coffee shop, dun kayo mag-usap kung ayaw niyang pumunta. E winarningan na nga sya nung staff mo na wag pumunta dun e. Your own staffer warned here to stay away e di syempre talagang susunod sya dun sa warning na yun,” Marcos said.
Marcos said that at the very least there was a “very strange situation” in the office of Musa, as the senator noted that the labor attaché initially claimed to have been in the dark of the incidents that transpired.
“Pero under questioning mukhang alam mo pala. So you have to understand na maraming problema dito sa salaysay na ito—hindi tumutugma ang lahat ng iyong sinasabi. But In any case, I think the facts will come out,” Marcos warned Musa.
Marcos is a member of the Senate majority bloc’s contingent to the Blue Ribbon Committee.
The rules of the Senate vests the Blue Ribbon Committee with jurisdiction over ““all matters relating to, including investigation of, malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance in office by officers and employees of the government, its branches, agencies, subdivisions and instrumentalities; implementation of the provisions of the Constitution on nepotism; and investigation of any matter of public interest on its own initiative or brought to its attention by any member of the Senate.”