3 Filipino diplomats face kidnapping raps in Kuwait | Global News
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3 Filipino diplomats face kidnapping raps in Kuwait

/ 07:09 AM May 04, 2018

The three Filipino diplomats ordered arrested by Kuwaiti authorities are facing charges of kidnapping in the aftermath of the controversial rescue of abused Filipino housemaids in the Gulf state.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano confirmed this in an interview on Wednesday night as Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro Villa arrived home, a week after he was expelled from the Arab nation, following the rescue of Filipino domestic workers from their employers’ homes.

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The videotape of the operation, which was uploaded on social media, further strained the country’s relations with Kuwait.

The Philippines’ ties with Kuwait were already shaky over the alleged abuse of household workers in the Arab state, following the

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discovery of the remains of 29-year-old Joanna Demafelis in a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait earlier this year.

Violation of sovereignty

Kuwaiti authorities, who viewed the embassy’s rescue mission as a violation of their sovereignty, issued warrants of arrest against the three unnamed diplomats.

They have also detained Filipino drivers and four embassy officials in connection with the rescue operations.

Cayetano argued that the rescue missions were “accepted” under international law, saying it was their duty to protect Filipino workers.

Of the 38 missions the embassy had undertaken, only three were not coordinated with Kuwaiti police as these were deemed urgent, according to Cayetano.

He said they would continue to lobby for the rescue of distressed workers—but this time, they would respond “on a case-to-case basis.”

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Case-to-case basis

 

“We [will] continue identifying names who need to be rescued, we [will] also continue to coordinate with police. But perhaps we will now respond on a case-to-case basis … if there is dire need for someone to be rescued then we will move swiftly because that is provided for under international law to protect your citizens,” he said.

“If there is friction [between the two states], then we have to be sensitive toward the host government,” he said.

In a statement, Villa said he felt “honored” for having been able to serve as Kuwaiti ambassador for three years.

Cayetano also fired back at those calling for his ouster over the issue, saying he was not trying to “politicize” the video to further his agenda for the 2019 senatorial or even the 2022 presidential elections. —KRIXIA SUBINGSUBING

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, Filipino diplomats, Kidnapping, Kuwait, Renato Pedro Villa
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