Philippines 'apologises' to Kuwait after rescuing domestic workers

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Kuwait announced it would expel the Philippine ambassador and recall its envoy from Manila after videos emerged of its embassy staff conducting "rescue operations" for Filipinos fleeing from allegedly abusive employers in the capital.

"We are optimistic that following our conversation with Ambassador Saleh, the remaining issues between the Philippines and Kuwait will be resolved", it added.

Kuwait has protested over the "rescue" of Philippine citizens working as domestic helpers, and summoned the Philippine ambassador for an explanation.

Another depicts a person sprinting from what looks like a construction site and then speeding off in a black sport utility vehicle.


Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano apologized to the Kuwaiti government over the action made recently by the Philippine Embassy that is against the laws of the Middle Eastern country.

The expulsion comes after Gulf state's government protested at the Philippine embassy's rescue of abused domestic workers in the country.

This controversy follows the ban Duterte imposed in February on Filipino workers moving to Kuwait, after the discovery of the corpse of Philippine maid Joanna Demafelis in a freezer.

The Philippines government imposed a similar ban on the UAE past year after reports emerged of workers being abused. Prospects of a worker agreement are under way, with the president previously saying he will visit Kuwait to witness the signing of the accord.


"The workers voluntarily went with embassy staff who waited outside the homes of the domestic helpers' employers", said a diplomat.

Renato Villa read from a statement in Kuwait City on Tuesday.

He also expressed belief that the rescue teams would not act their own except in emergency cases and only after a clear showing of inaction on the part of Kuwaiti authorities despite due notice to them of the dire circumstances being faced by the OFW in danger.

Some 10 million Filipinos work overseas and the money they remit back is a lifeline of the Philippine economy.


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