PH envoy may face criminal charges for sexual harrasment

A Filipina maid is considering filing criminal charges against Philippine ambassador to Kuwait Shulan Primavera for sexual harassment

EVALUATING HER OPTIONS. "Mabel", who does not want to show her face, is mulling if she should pursue a criminal suit against the Philippine envoy to Kuwait. Photo by Carlos Santamaria

MANILA, Philippines – The Filipina maid who accused Ambassador Shulan Primavera of sexual harassment is considering filing criminal charges against him because he is about to retire and might escape administrative sanctions, the woman’s lawyer said on Thursday, December 6.

“We’re looking at the possibility of filing a criminal case. This is prompted by reports that the ambassador is about to retire, which would render the administrative case moot and academic,” lawyer Reynaldo Robles told reporters.

Initially the woman, who is going by the pseudonym “Mabel,” was not inclined to pursue a criminal case and only wanted Primavera, the Philippines’ Ambassador to Kuwait, to be punished by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for his alleged behavior.

She is not asking for any compensation.

Primavera, on leave and back in Manila since the DFA internal investigation was confirmed a month ago, is set to retire in April 2013 upon reaching the compulsory age of 65.

Robles filed with the DFA on Thursday, December 6, sexual harassment charges against Primavera, a requirement of the Foreign Service Act so the department can act on the initial complaint and affidavit.

“Mabel” claims Primavera tried on 3 separate occasions to engage in sexual relations with her while she was working as a domestic helper at his official residence in Kuwait.

FRAMED? Ambassador Primavera claims he is innocent and being framed by his enemies. Photo courtesy of Kuwaiti news site Al Watan 

The envoy, according to the complainant, hired her without a contract because she was a runaway maid living in a shelter and paid her less than half the minimum wage approved by the government.

Primavera denies any wrongdoing and says the charges are part of a campaign designed by his enemies to tarnish his reputation.

The veteran diplomat was appointed to his post by President Benigno Aquino III in June 2010. – Rappler.com