Tanandato during his earlier interview with the Arab Times.
Manila recalls embassy official Tanandato denies all allegations

KUWAIT CITY, March 11: A Philippine embassy official in Kuwait who was accused recently of human trafficking by a Filipina businesswoman has been recalled by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to face a number of allegations and complaints filed against him by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Kuwait.

Philippine Embassy former head of Assistance to Nationals Unit Head and current Administrative Officer Dalidig Ibrahim Tanandato was given his recall order to return to the Philippines and he has been effectively discharged of his duties at the embassy. He is expected to go home before the end of March 2013, stated Assistant Secretary Melita Sta Maria-Thomeczek at the DFA Office of Personnel and Administrative Services in a letter furnished to the Arab Times. 

Sta Maria-Thomeczek outlined in the letter that the DFA has been aware of the allegation on human trafficking against Tanandato as well as the other allegations and complaints against him.

It may be recalled that a Filipina businesswoman who owns a salon in Salmiya accused Tanandato of human trafficking after the latter allegedly sold to her a Filipina runaway housemaid in November last year for KD 600 but the maid left the salon’s accommodation after three days and she was able to get back the money paid for the maid in two installments.

Aside from the alleged human trafficking complaint, some OFWs who are now in the Philippines have also filed complaints against Tanandato for alleged corruption by getting commission out of the settlement money from cases of distressed OFWs. However, Tanandato vehemently denied all these allegations during an earlier interview with the Arab Times. He stressed that there is no truth to the complaints filed against him by these OFWs.

Meanwhile, Sta Maria-Thomeczek further stated in the letter that in early February, the DFA dispatched a management audit team to look into the situation at the embassy in Kuwait. This was amid the mounting complaints of OFWs against Tanandato and other embassy officials. 

Sta Maria-Thomeczek disclosed that upon the arrival of the management audit 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. “The above mentioned  case was also addressed by the management audit team in accordance with the usual Civil Service rules and regulations on administrative investigations,” she stated in the letter. In the meantime, Tanandato is given time to make the necessary travel and other personal arrangements for him and his family.

Sta Maria-Thomeczek assured in her letter that all the complaints against Tanandato are being acted upon and upon his return to the Philippines, he will be subjected to the usual administrative procedures and if warranted, face whatever charges that may be filed against him.

By: Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff

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