Embassy makes contact with alleged trafficking victims

The 2 women (their backs facing the camera) tell their harrowing stories to embassy officials.

The 2 women (their backs facing the camera) tell their harrowing stories to embassy officials.

By Maricar CP Hampton

Philippine Embassy officials reached out to the two Filipino women rescued from a Saudi diplomat’s house in McLean, Virginia in a suspected human trafficking case.

In a YouTube statement released by the embassy, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia said, “Our consular officials led by Consul General Ariel Peñaranda visited the two Filipinas reportedly victims of human trafficking. “

Cuisia said the two unidentified women are “well.”

“We were glad to learn that both of them are well. They are in good physical condition and they are being treated well,” he said.

Responding on a tip, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials last week swooped down on a McLean, Virginia diplomatic compound owned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and took charge of two women workers who were being held in “conditions that amounted to human trafficking,” said ICE officials.

The two women are now in the custody of the U.S authorities who are conducting an investigation to determine if human trafficking was committed.

Cuisia said, “We have assured the two Filipinas that the Philippine Embassy is prepared to extend assistance to them particularly legal assistance should they require it. Although they have been are assured that a public defender will be assisting them.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA,) said it would closely monitor the case.

“An ongoing investigation is being conducted by U.S. authorities. We will be monitoring developments in this case,” said DFA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez.



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