Pimentel: Apology to Kuwait gains friendship, respect, for PH
The Philippines has nothing to lose from apologizing to Kuwait, instead the country would gain the Gulf state’s “friendship and respect,” Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Wednesday.
When asked about the move of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano to apologize to the Kuwaiti government over the viral videos of the Philippine Embassy’s “rescue mission” of distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Pimentel said: “I think we gained the friendship and the respect of Kuwait.”
“At least nakita nila marunong din pala tayo magpakumbaba,” he added.
Pimentel said it is natural for Kuwaiti officials to value their sovereignty.
“Kung tayo rito sa Pilipinas very serious tayo sa sovereignty, ganun din sa ibang bansa. So siguro tingin nung Kuwaiti authorities nila we were enforcing our laws… dapat respect sovereignty. Kung sakali man lumampas tayo run, we were enforcing some laws, tama naman mag apologize tayo,” he said.
“We have no right to enforce our laws to their country and their laws to their country kasi ang law enforcement sa kanilang sariling enforcer yun,” he added.
The apology came after the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait released a video which showed Embassy staff members convincing Filipino housemaids to leave their employers’ homes and return to the Philippines.
This incident triggered Kuwait to file a diplomatic protest against the Philippines, to move for the expulsion of the Philippine ambassador, and to order the arrest of two Philippine Embassy staff members for allegedly enticing housemaids to run away from their employers.
The controversy erupted prior to President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Kuwait to witness the signing of an agreement for the protection of OFWs in the Gulf state.
“Again we are apologizing for certain incidents that the Kuwaitis view as a violation of their sovereignty, but we have explained to them that these acts, we felt, were necessary for saving and protecting Filipino lives,” Cayetano said.
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