Former Philippine Ambassador to South Korea in INTERPOL’s Red Notice for alleged sexual harassment; DFA investigates

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President Rodrigo Duterte and Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in

A former Philippine ambassador to South Korea was placed on Interpol’s wanted list for the alleged sexual harassment of a South Korean woman during his tenure.

A Yonhap News Agency report on Friday, July 17, citing the National Police Agency of South Korea, said Interpol placed the unnamed ambassador, aged 69, on its Red Notices.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has also confirmed on Saturday that they have investigated a sexual harassment complaint filed against the former Philippine ambassador to South Korea.

The DFA said the complaint was filed in February this year before the Philippine Embassy in Seoul while the envoy was in Manila for official business.

The embassy then forwarded the complaint to the DFA, which then directed the Committee on Decorum and Investigation to conduct a probe.

The DFA said both the complainant and the envoy cooperated during the proceedings.

“The Ambassador subsequently tendered his resignation from the service effective March 16,” the DFA said in a statement.

Interpol will ask member states to cooperate in locating and arresting the suspect, the report said.

Yonhap reported that the Philippine diplomat allegedly sexually harassed a South Korean woman in Seoul in December 2019.

He reportedly stepped down from his post earlier 2020 after the woman made the allegations against him.

The Yonhap report said that a foreign ministry official in Seoul said that incidents involving foreign diplomats have been sternly dealt with but declined to give other details, including the name of the ambassador, citing the privacy protection and diplomatic relations with the Philippines.

The last Philippine envoy to Korea is Ambassador Noe Wong, a retired military officer who had served as ambassador to Cambodia during the administrations of Gloria Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III. He was a member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1975 and served in the defense ministry under Juan Ponce Enrile during the Marcos regime.

Wong began serving as ambassador to Korea in May 2019.

Based on the directory of officials in the official website of the Philippine embassy in Korea, the embassy is currently headed by Charge d’Affaires Christian de Jesus.

The case in Seoul is not the first involving a Philippine diplomat accused of sexual harassment.

In 2012, then-Ambassador to Kuwait Shulan Primavera was put on the spotlight after his domestic worker accused him of sexual harassment.

The DFA pursued the administrative complaint against him./Stacy Ang

 

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