Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) secretary Silvestre Bello III on Tuesday, July 17, challenged his detractors to file charges against him to prove that he was involved in corrupt activities.
In a press conference, Bello said he is ready to “bravely face” the trirades against him, including the alleged collection of fees for the supposedly free OFW IDs, his refusal to give help to an overseas Filipina worker (OFW) who left her baby in Saudi Arabia, and his involvement in the collection of money from recruitment agencies.
“I therefore reiterate the challenge to my detractors: Sue me, go to court if you have an iota of evidence against me,” Bello said.
“We only have facts to dispute all those accusations…I am not about to dignify the malicious attacks against me, but the apparent orchestrated campaign to vilify my name and that of the institution I represent necessitated that I confront these issues head on,” he added.
Bello said that certain groups wanted him out of his seat since the release of the OFW ID project, which he eventually scrapped after some online users offered OFWs the ID in exchange of payment.
“Some groups or individuals who were interested in the project must have felt that getting rid of me was the only way they can get to hold on the [OFW ID] project,” the labor secretary said.
Bello added that these groups stirred the recent news about his refusal to help the OFW from Saudi Arabia.
“This is a blatant lie. What was being followed up in our office was the pending case of a recruitment agency whose license was cancelled,” Bello said.