Solon links arrested terror suspect to medical service provider for OFWs
A lawmaker on Friday linked the Kuwaiti terror suspect nabbed in the Philippines to Winston Q8 Certification Solutions International Inc., the firm accused of having a monopoly on providing medical services to Kuwait-bound OFWs.
At a press briefing, ACTS OFW party-list Rep. John Bertiz said the suspect, identified as Husayn Al-Dhafiri, was the operational manager of Winston Q8.
"Lahat ng lumalabas na circular memorandum coming from Winston Q8, it's the same name nung nahuli na ISIS, so kung ito talaga ay may kinalaman ang Winston Q8 at tsaka ang ISIS, ibig sabihin 'yung operations ng ISIS dito ay ang nagpo-pondo ay mismong mga OFW," Bertiz said.
"Kailangan ma-trace natin kung saan napunta 'yung ilang daang milyon na kinita ng Winston Q8 kasi hindi sila nagi-issue ng mga resubo," he added.
Bertiz also shared a photo of Al-Dhafiri but refused to disclose its source.
Winston Q8, according to its website, is a Philippines-based company that aims “to achieve a preeminent position in this visa processing channels while representing Kuwait's Ministry of Health.” It began operating on August 8, 2016, after it was given the right to pre-employment medical screenings for Kuwait-bound OFWs by the Kuwait Embassy.
Prospective OFWs need to pay between P8,400 to P10,000 to Winston Q8 before they can undergo medical certification tests at any of the following eight clinics in Metro Manila:
The DOH issued the preventive suspension order against the clinics last March 9 due to a Congressional resolution that said there was an agreement between Winston Q8 and Mawared Services, the agency that issued visas for Kuwait.
The resolution said the Mawared Services allegedly accepted medical certificates exclusively from Winston Q8 Certifications Solutions.
The DOH said the practice was against the law, pointing out that "no group or groups of medical clinics shall have a monopoly of exclusively conducting health examinations on migrant workers for certain receiving countries."
Bertiz, at the press briefing, pointed out the address where Al-Dhafiri was arrested was the same as the office address of Winston Q8.
"Pati yung address kung saan dila nahuli pareho din ng Winston Q8. If this is the same person, hindi lang 'to maliit na issue na sila ay nago-operate ng ISIS sa bansa natin, but the fund is coming from the OFWs," he said. —KBK, GMA News