Sotto hits Kuwait over ejection, arrest of PH embassy execs
Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III lashed out at the Kuwaiti government on Thursday for its treatment of Philippine embassy officials and staff embroiled in the rescue mission of distressed Filipino housemaids there.
“Your question is whether it’s right for them to treat our embassy officials that way? I don’t think so,” Sotto said at a regular forum in the Senate.
“I was trying to be diplomatic — pero bottom line, kung ayaw nila sa atin, ayaw din naman natin sa kanila eh, mas lalo namang ayaw natin,” he added.
While he recognized that Kuwait has to impose its own rules and laws, Sotto said the Philippine embassy led by ambassador Renato Villa was also “left with no choice” but to help their countrymen. The Kuwaiti government has already ordered Villa to leave within a week.
“Time is of the essence e under these circumstances so we will just have to trust the Department of Foreign Affairs to be able to thresh out everything,” Sotto said.
Sotto then urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to “censure” those responsible for a video posted on social media, which showed embassy staff members enticing Filipino housemaids to run away from their employers.
“May mga bagay hindi naman dapat kasing nilalahad sa social media ‘pag tapos na eh. We should be more careful next time. We should be very cautious pagdating sa mga ganyang bagay whether it would affect our relationship or not with other countries,” he pointed out.
Despite this, the Majority Leader hopes that the ongoing dispute would not affect the impending signing of memorandum of understanding that would have ensured better treatment of overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait.
In fact, Sotto said he volunteered to join the presidential group bound for Kuwait in June to iron out the problems. /kga
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