Drilon backs Villa over ‘rescue’ of OFWs in Kuwait

MANILA Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday expressed his full support to Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa over the rescue of distressed Filipino housemaids in the Gulf state, saying that the latter should not be recalled for doing what he did for the welfare of Filipino overseas workers.

I support Ambassador Villa and what he's doing, because it's not easy to be in the situation, and I support him fully. He's there to protect our interest and the interest of our Filipino workers, and forced by necessity, he did what he did for the welfare of our Filipino compatriots, Drilon said in an interview at the Senate.

Kuwait's Ministry of Interior recently summoned Villa and handed him protest notes due to the controversy generated by the rescue of distressed OFWs in the Arab state.

As reported by the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), the Philippine ambassador was summoned for the supposed inappropriate behavior of Philippine diplomatic staff who were seen in a viral video rescuing Filipino workers.

According to the Kuwaiti government, Philippine diplomatic staff carried out the rescue mission without informing Kuwaiti authorities which was seen as a violation of their country's sovereignty.

Due to the controversy, there had been demands from some Philippine and Kuwaiti officials to replace Villa.

However, Drilon said that Kuwait's reaction over the rescue is to be expected, in the same way that the Philippines protested the tragic death of Joanna Demafelis, a household worker whose body was found in a freezer in Kuwait.

That's expected, but we can explain the action of our ambassador, in the same manner that we protested I assume we did when our compatriot was found frozen. That's normal in diplomacy, he said.

Source: Philippine News Agency