SCAMMED. Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevara (standing) meets with the eight victims (seated, blurred) of fake government positions at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Friday (Jan. 27, 2023). They paid cash in exchange for high-ranking posts, which the Presidential Communications Office confirmed was a scam. (Courtesy of the Presidential Communications Office)

MANILA – Malacañang has warned the public against a fraudulent scheme that asks for money in exchange for appointment to the government.

The warning was issued after eight fell victims to the appointment scam, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil said on Friday.

The victims, who claimed to be Presidential appointees, went to Malacañan Palace in Manila on Friday afternoon to attend their supposed oath-taking to be administered by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

“Malacañang warned the public not to entertain dubious individuals communicating with them online or through correspondence after eight ‘presidential appointees’ rushed to the Palace for their supposed oath taking on Friday,” Garafil said in a statement.

The supposed positions were an ambassadorial post to the Netherlands; 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.

According to the victims, a certain Undersecretary Eduardo Diokno and Assistant Secretary Johnson See, both from the Office of the Executive Secretary, instructed them to proceed to the Palace for their supposed swearing-in rites, Garafil said.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevara denied there was a scheduled oath-taking ceremony on Friday.

The victims received their fake appointment papers and invitations after paying “huge sums of money” in exchange for available positions.

“Some of the victims said they already had doubts on the authenticity of the appointments and oath-taking after noticing some inconsistencies in the information provided to them by the scammers, but they still proceeded to Malacañan,” Garafil said.

 She said the National Bureau of Investigation is already looking into the scam.

“The Palace appealed to the victims to cooperate with authorities,” Garafil said. (PNA)