No complaint yet vs recalled envoy AmpesoBy Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The career diplomat who was caught on video verbally abusing Filipino Canadians at a consular event in Canada last month is back in the home office and facing an investigation but a complaint has yet to be filed against him.
A complaint from an offended party is required for the Department of Foreign Affairs to pursue an investigation against the diplomat, the Consul General in Vancouver Jose Ampeso, according to Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez, the DFA spokesperson.
Hernandez said the foreign office is seeking a sworn statement from Proceso Flordeliz Jr., the Canadian-based Filipino who told of his experience with Ampeso in a Filipino online forum and later posted a video of the diplomat berating other Filipinos on the YouTube video-sharing site.
Hernandez said “letters have been sent” to Flordeliz, who is reportedly based in Edmonton, and his response is being awaited.
But even without a formal complaint, he said “arrangements are already being done to make sure that procedures are followed.”
Ampeso was recalled to Manila more than two weeks ago after the incident which occurred during an outreach program of the consulate general at the Sheraton Hotel in Red Deer, Alberta.
In his account in the Filipino online forum, Flordeliz said he had gone to the consular event to renew his passport. He said Ampeso had reacted angrily when he offered to donate only a dollar to the mission’s fund-raising campaign.
Flordeliz later took a video of an apparently drunk Ampeso similarly castigating other Filipinos at the event.
Ampeso later said in his defense that he felt insulted by Floreliz’s offer of a dollar for the fund-raising drive for typhoon victims in the Philippines.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario earlier said Ampeso had some explaining to do and that it was inappropriate for him to “cajole people to contribute” to an embassy-sponsored fund drive.
Ampeso faced a similar investigation in 1996 when Luli Arroyo, daughter of former President Gloria Arroyo, filed a sexual harassment complaint against the diplomat for his behavior during one extended work day during Manila’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders’ summit in 1996.
The case was dismissed in 1998 after Ampeso apologized to Arroyo both in person and in writing.