Kuwait files protest, summons PH envoy
A LAWMAKER on Sunday warned Kuwait against expelling Manila’s ambassador over a video that showed Philippine Embassy personnel whisking away an abused Filipino domestic away from her employer’s home in a diplomatic vehicle.
“If they throw out our ambassador, it will not be left unanswered,” said ACT-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III.
“We understand several members of parliament in Kuwait have demanded that the Philippine ambassador be kicked out over the incident portrayed in the video. This is totally uncalled for,” he added.
A Kuwait Interior Ministry statement expressed “grave concern” over the incident shown in the video and warned that “the full force of the law will be brought to bear on those complicit in the wrongdoing.”
But Beritz said embassy personnel were only doing their jobs.
“We must stress that the Philippine government is duty-bound to safeguard its nationals wherever they may be,” Bertiz said.
“In extreme cases wherein Filipino domestic workers are being physically battered or sexually abused, and cry out for help, our embassy is expected to take appropriate action,” he added.
After the video became popular on the internet, the Kuwait Foreign Ministry summoned Philippine Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa to hand him two diplomatic protests.
The notes were “related to recent remarks by several Filipino officials which [amounted to] serious
offenses against the State of Kuwait and [led] to the actions of some embassy employees in violation of the diplomatic norms governing relations between the two countries.
The Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported that Villa was summoned in protest over “inflammatory comments” that he supposedly made against the Arab state through a local newspaper.
Villa was also summoned over the “inappropriate behavior” of the embassy staff that rescued the Filipino domestic.
A GMA-7 video showed a Philippine “rapid response team” going around Kuwait to locate Filipino domestics who asked to be rescued.
The Arab Times reported Sunday that several Kuwaiti members of Parliament government have criticized Villa after he confirmed there was a team of Philippine officers rescuing distressed Filipinos.
The Kuwaiti legislators said the deployment of a Philippine rescue team in Kuwait violated diplomatic norms and infringed on the country’s sovereignty.
Villa on Saturday acknowledged the support and cooperation of the Kuwaiti government in addressing the concerns on the welfare of overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf state.
“We thank the Kuwaiti government for the extension of the amnesty program for undocumented foreign nationals, including Filipinos, as a result, we were able to bring home and reunite around 5,000 of our workers in the Philippines,” said Villa in a press conference with Kuwaiti reporters.