They were raring to be sworn in at Malacañang as “presidential appointees.”
And why not? They had already “paid” for their positions.
Alas, eight people apparently fell victim to a scam that tricked them into thinking they could secure a government post—for a fee.
They showed up as a group at Malacañang on Friday afternoon, saying they had received a letter from an “Undersecretary Eduardo Diokno” and an “Assistant Secretary Johnson See”—both purportedly of the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) —advising them about their “oathtaking.”
But Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevara said there was no such ceremony scheduled for that afternoon, adding that the eight “appointees” apparently fell victim to fraudsters.
There were also no OES officials going by the names stated in the letter, the Inquirer learned.
“They said they paid huge sums of money to secure positions in the government after receiving information or an invitation about available government positions,” said Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil in a statement.
Garafil said some of the victims were actually suspicious about the letter “after noticing some inconsistencies in the information provided by the scammers,” but they still went to Malacañang.
The letter, as partly quoted by Garafil, read: “The Office of the President cordially invites you to attend the oathtaking ceremony to be presided by His Excellency President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Rizal Hall, Malacañang Palace, two o’clock in the afternoon.”
According to Garafil, the following “positions” were given to the duped victims: Ambassador to the Netherlands, transportation assistant secretary, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority board member, Clark International Airport Corp. president and chief executive officer, Early Childhood Care and Development Council executive director and vice chair, Clark Development Corp. director and Port of Batangas manager.
The National Bureau of Investigation is looking into the scam and the victims have been asked to cooperate in the probe, she said.
In a selfie video released on social media on Jan. 7, first lady Liza Araneta-Marcos warned against individuals who would namedrop her just to get a job in the government.
“And if I find out that somebody is using my name, I shall tell my husband not to appoint you, OK?” she said. “So, I hope this is clear for everyone.”
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