x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Philippine ambassador to UAE fights fraud accusations

A group calling itself the Alliance of Concerned Overseas Filipino Workers told the Manila Times they believe Grace Princesa has misused community funds intended for charitable projects.

ABU DHABI //The Philippine ambassador to the UAE has dismissed as baseless fraud claims against her in Manila media reports.

A group calling itself the Alliance of Concerned Overseas Filipino Workers told the Manila Times they believe Grace Princesa has misused community funds intended for charitable projects.

The leaders of the group, who did not wish to be identified, called on the Philippine department of foreign affairs to look into other claims, including some concerning the Philippine Independence Day and Paskuhan (Christmas) celebrations, and allegations that Filipinos were being badly treated at the embassy.

"What are the instances of ill treatment?" Ms Princesa asked yesterday. "On the use of community funds, the people are free to check where their money goes.

"I do not have any official knowledge of the letter except for this media report. The group is not even registered with the Bayanihan."

Bayanihan-UAE is an umbrella organisation of 43 Filipino groups in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, accredited by the embassy. The group also asked the department to look into the creation of Bayanihan, the report said.

Boy Refugio, the president of Bayanihan-UAE, said he was surprised and saddened by the group's claims, but he invited them to talk.

"We fully trust and support our ambassador," he said. "They should have asked for our financial statements, which are readily available."

 

rruiz@thenational.ae