Duterte appoints Mama-o as special envoy to Kuwait

MANILAMalacaAang on Tuesday announced that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has designated Secretary Abdullah Mama-o as special envoy to Kuwait.

Roque said Mama-o, an incumbent presidential adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) concern, has been tasked to repatriate all 800 Filipinos who ran away from their employers.

He said three Filipino diplomats have "restrictive movements while four Filipino drivers were arrested by Kuwaiti authorities in the aftermath of the rescue operations for OFWs allegedly being abused by their employers.

So the mandate of Secretary Mama-o is to bring everyone home and possibly to normalize ties with Kuwait, Roque told a Palace press briefing.

With Mama-o designation as special envoy, Roque said government is hoping the memorandum of understanding (MOU) will also be finally signed between the Philippines and Kuwait.

MOU is also part of what we want to achieve because MOU will completely normalize our ties, he said.

Roque said Duterte is confident that Mama-o will be able to accomplish his special mission in the Gulf state.

I think the President noted that Secretary Mama-o, being a Muslim, has been effective in dealing with Kuwaiti authorities. So, it's like, he is allowing a Muslim do the negotiations for the time being with the Kuwaiti authorities, Roque said.

He also said the plan to send a team headed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to Kuwait has also been cancelled following Mama-o's appointment.

He said Mama-o had actually just returned from Kuwait bearing good news for the President.

The good news though, we will withhold releasing until we've had actual realization. But the President then said that Secretary Mama-o will be appointed as Special Envoy to Kuwait, Roque said.

Roque said Mama-o will go back to Kuwait as soon as possible.

I do not know when Secretary Mama-o can actually fly back to Kuwait, but the marching order of the President was as soon as possible, he said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency