Koko: Let time heal PH-Kuwait row
“In due time, diplomacy will repair and restore PH-Kuwait ties.”
This was the statement of Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Thursday following Kuwait’s order for Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa to leave the Gulf state within a week.
Kuwait also recalled its own ambassador from Manila over the row, according to a bulletin on the state-run KUNA news agency.
The growing diplomatic dispute between the Philippines and Kuwait stemmed from the abuse of Filipino housemaids and workers in the oil-rich Arab country, and the reported viral video of Philippine Embassy staff members convincing Filipino housemaids to leave their employers’ homes and return to the Philippines.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has likewise issued an apology over the incident, which had 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 allegedly involved in enticing housemaids to run away from their employers.
“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.
In a forum Wednesday, Pimentel said the Philippines has nothing to lose from apologizing to Kuwait for the incident.
He said the country would even gain the Gulf state’s “friendship and respect” upon apologizing. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.