Quantcast
Latest Stories

ON TARGET

Something rotten at Museum

By

Newly-elected party-list Rep. Roy Señeres says the Philippine ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Syria should be held accountable for the sexual exploitation of runaway Filipino domestic helpers now living in the embassies’ refugee centers.

The ambassadors in these Middle East countries should be charged along with labor officers accused of demanding sex from the distressed women or forcing them into prostitution, said Señeres,  of the OFW Family party-list group.

The newly-elected party-list congressman knows whereof he speaks since he was a labor attaché and later, an  ambassador to the Middle East in the 1990s.

One of the primary functions of an ambassador is to safeguard the welfare of his constituents in his host country, Señeres said.

The failure of the ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Syria to protect the distressed women from sexual exploitation by labor officers makes them  administratively liable.

* * *

Señeres figured prominently in rescuing a Filipino maid from being beheaded in the United Arab Emirates in the 1990s.

The maid was convicted for killing her employer whom, she claimed, had raped her several times.

That incident became a cause celebré; the former maid, Sarah Balabagan, later became  a movie actress.

Señeres, who was the Philippine ambassador to the UAE at that time, pleaded with officials in the host country for a commutation of Balabagan’s sentence, and eventually her freedom.

* * *

Why hasn’t the Commission on Audit (COA)  come out with an official report on the alleged plunder at the National Museum?

The COA has reportedly discovered that National Museum Director Jeremy R. Barns and Deputy Director Ana Theresa Labrador allegedly withdrew P306.9 million from the Land Bank of the Philippines and deposited part of the amount in two private banks. The rest was reportedly used to invest in ABS-CBN stocks.

The records I have in my possession say the exact amount that was withdrawn from the Land Bank, the official bank of all government agencies, was P306,926,248.99.

The amount, according to my sources at the National Museum, is part of the P500-million endowment fund for the agency which uses it for scientific research.

The endowment fund came from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.  and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

The two private banks, according to COA records, are Bank of the Philippine Islands and Banco de Oro.

Withdrawing government money from the Land Bank and depositing it in two private banks and investing part of it in stocks constitutes plunder.

Barns and Labrador should be charged with plunder.

* * *

Incidentally, why is the National Museum headed by a foreigner and nonscientist?

According to his personal data sheet, Jeremy Robert Barns was born in Australia to Robert Neil Barns and Iris Jarbs Morales.

Barns graduated from Boundary Junior School in 1985. He later studied at King George V School in Hong Kong and at  Anglican Church Grammar School in Australia, where he finished his  high school studies in 1991.

He has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Queensland, Australia (1992 to 1995).

Barns picked up a Master of Science in Economics degree from De La Salle University, Manila (1999 to 2002).

Granting that he holds  dual citizenship—Australian and Filipino—his qualifications as head of the National Museum is under question.

The head of the National Museum should be a scientist, or at least have a background in anthropology.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: column , Metro , National Museum , OFWs , Philippine embassies , Plunder , Ramon Tulfo , sexual exploitation




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in road mishap
Advertisement

News

  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  • Sports

  • Caguioa blasts ‘no heart, soft’ Ginebra on Twitter
  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement