Eight fall prey to fake presidential appointments

In photos released by the PCO, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevara was seen talking to the eight victims wearing Barong Tagalog.

Eight individuals allegedly fell victim to “fraudsters” who tricked them into believing that they had been appointed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to various posts, Malacañang revealed on Friday.

The victims allegedly “paid huge sums of money” to secure government positions when they received information and invitations about the available posts.

In a statement, the Presidential Communications Office warned the public “not to entertain dubious individuals communicating with them online or through correspondence” about supposed “appointments”.

It did not disclose how much the victims paid to the fraudsters, however.

PCO said “eight presidential appointees” rushed to the Palace for their supposed oath-taking on Friday after receiving a letter from “a certain Undersecretary Eduardo Diokno and Assistant Secretary Johnson See, both from the Office of the Executive Secretary.”

They were allegedly instructed to proceed to the Palace for their supposed swearing-in rites to be administered by no less than the President.

“The Office of the President cordially invites you to attend the oath-taking ceremony to be presided over by His Excellency President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Rizal Hall, Malacañang Palace, two o’clock in the afternoon, Monday, 5th of December 2022,” a letter to one of the victims read, according to the PCO.

A copy of the letter was not immediately given to the press.

In photos released by the PCO, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevara was seen talking to the eight victims wearing Barong Tagalog.

Guevarra informed them that “there was no oath-taking ceremony scheduled Friday afternoon, and the ‘appointees’ obviously fell victim to fraudsters.”

According to the PCO, some of the victims said they already had doubts about the authenticity of appointments and oath-taking after noticing some inconsistencies in the information being provided to them by the scammers, but they still proceeded to Malacañang.

The positions they were supposed to assume included ambassadorial post to The Netherlands, Department of Transportation assistant secretary, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority board member, Clark International Airport Corporation president and chief executive officer, Early Childhood Care and Development Council executive director and vice chairperson, Clark Development Corp. director, and Port of Batangas manager.

The National Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into the incident, and Malacañang has asked the victims to cooperate with authorities.

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