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Philippine embassy in Tel Aviv disowns ‘strip show’

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
Philippine embassy in Tel Aviv disowns âstrip showâ

Ambassador Nathaniel Imperial with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in a meeting on Dec. 10, 2014. DFA

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine embassy in Tel Aviv yesterday disclaimed any involvement in a Christmas party of Filipino groups in Israel that showed one of the guests with a male stripper.

Philippine Ambassador to Israel Nathaniel Imperial said the embassy had no hand in the Christmas party recorded on  video and photos. A blogger who was neither present at the event nor based in Israel alleged that the party was organized by embassy officials.

“The embassy had no hand in that Filipino community event, and calls on everyone to assist in stopping the spread of fake news that may have a detrimental effect on the image of Filipinos in Israel,” Imperial said in a statement.

He added that the event was a Christmas party organized by three Filipino groups in Haifa, a city in Israel about an hour’s drive away from Tel Aviv, where the embassy is located.

The embassy representatives to 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,” Imperial said.

He said the embassy later called the attention of the organizers about the inappropriateness of the show, and asked them to provide an explanation in writing.

The embassy, Imperial said, has since received complaints from Filipinos who attended the party, and “we are taking action on those complaints now.”

“The embassy finds such performances highly offensive, and the spread of unverified information deeply disturbing,” he said.

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