Envoy denies involvement in indecent Xmas party in Israel

MANILA -- The Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv on Thursday disclaimed any involvement in the inappropriate videos and photos of a Christmas party in Israel allegedly supported by Embassy officials.

Following its circulation on the internet, Philippine Ambassador to Israel Nathaniel Imperial through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), said the allegation by a blogger he did not name, "who was neither present at the event nor based in Israel," is unfounded.

In an official DFA conversation thread, questions were raised following an article by website Kwentong OFW, citing a certain Facebook user who shared photos of the gathering that apparently shows a stripper dancing with an overseas Filipino worker.

"In the context of the work we do to protect and promote the welfare of Filipino workers in Israel, the Embassy finds such performances highly offensive, and the spread of unverified information deeply disturbing," Imperial stressed.

As per the diplomat, the said event was a Christmas party organized by three Filipino organizations in Haifa, a city in Israel that is an hour's drive from Tel Aviv, where the Embassy is located.

Imperial clarified the Embassy representatives at the event, Consul Reichel Quinones and Cultural Attache Geraldine Gamoso, were in Haifa that evening to attend two Christmas parties, both organized by Filipino Community groups.

"The Embassy representatives were unaware that the performance was part of the program, and left when the performances started," he said.

Further, he explained they later called the attention of the organizers about the inappropriateness of the show and asked them to provide an explanation in writing.

"The Embassy has since received complaints from Filipinos who attended the party, and we are taking action on those complaints now," he noted.

"The Embassy had no hand in that Filipino Community event, and calls on everyone to assist in stopping the spread of fake news that might have a detrimental effect on the image of Filipinos in Israel," the envoy ended.

Source: Philippine News Agency