PH should take ‘decisive steps’ to solve diplomatic row with Kuwait – Robredo
Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday said government should take “decisive steps” to rectify the growing diplomatic row between the Philippines and Kuwait, by having a “willingness to accept accountability,” among others.
In a statement, Robredo expressed “grave concern” over the videos of “rescue missions” conducted by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait, which she said “created a diplomatic challenge that could further jeopardize our workers in that country.”
“Over 260,000 OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) may lose their jobs, and the capacity of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait to protect those who remain may be compromised as they deal with the serious strain in our diplomatic relations with the Kuwaiti government as a result of the incident,” Robredo said.
“Decisive steps must be taken at the soonest time to rectify this situation, and prevent further harm from being inflicted on our OFWs. These must start with an honest and candid acknowledgment of the crisis, a willingness to accept accountability and a conviction to do what is right,” she added.
With the protection of the welfare of OFWs being at the government’s paramount concern, and the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) “team of professional, competent, and committed career diplomats” Robredo said relations with Kuwait should be repaired at the soonest possible time.
“We are hopeful that the window of opportunity to salvage the planned Memorandum of Understanding with Kuwait, which promises to provide long-term protection of our workers there, has not yet closed,” she stressed.
“There is no option except to find a solution that will protect both the lives and the livelihoods of our OFWs. Our people deserve no less,” the vice president continued.
The growing diplomatic dispute between the Philippines and Kuwait stemmed from the abuse of Filipino housemaids and workers in the Arab country, and the Philippine Embassy’s release of a video of its staff members convincing Filipino housemaids to leave their employers’ in Kuwait and return to the Philippines.
The incident triggered Kuwait to expel Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa, and order the arrest of three Filipino diplomats allegedly involved in enticing housemaids to run away from their employers.
Calls for the resignation of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano also surfaced amid the growing tension between the Philippines and the oil-rich country.
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