Legarda fears PH-Kuwait row may affect bilateral relations
The Kuwaiti government’s move to expel Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa from Kuwait is “unfortunate,” especially amid the recent talks to restore the bilateral relations between the Philippines and the oil-rich Gulf state, Senator Loren Legarda lamented on Thursday.
READ: Kuwait gives PH envoy one week to leave amid dispute
Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations, said in a statement that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) already has ongoing talks with the Kuwaiti government.
The senator has, likewise, emphasized that the protection of Filipinos overseas “constitutes one of the pillars of our foreign policy.”
“We cannot just play lip service in catering to the needs of our overseas Filipinos. In saying this, it is important that channels of dialogue are kept open,” she added.
The growing diplomatic dispute between the Philippines and Kuwait stemmed from the abuse of Filipino housemaids and workers in the Arab country, and the reported viral video of Philippine Embassy staff members convincing Filipino housemaids to leave their employers’ homes in Kuwait and return to the Philippines.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano already 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./jpv
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