MANILA MalacaAang on Thursday said there is no reason for Department of Foreign Affair (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano to step down amid diplomatic problem between the Philippines and Kuwait.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the call for resignation by some lawmakers should be addressed by Cayetano.
That call is addressed to Secretary Cayetano. He should address it. As far as the Palace is concerned, there is no reason for him to resign, Roque told a Palace press briefing.
Roque believed that Cayetano still has the full trust and confidence of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
And I think that what we have in Kuwait is something that can be overcome eventuallysooner or later, he said.
Some lawmakers and groups have called for Cayetano's resignation after Kuwait expelled Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa and recalled its ambassador to Manila Musaed Saleh Ahmad Althwaihk.
Kuwait's action was in response to a video of distressed overseas Filipino workers being rescued by staff of the Philippine embassy in Kuwait.
Roque said he is not in a position to determine the root cause of the problem in Kuwait.
What I'm saying is, you know, like any relationship, there are kinks in our relationship with other countries, this is one of those kinks, he said.
Roque expressed hope the problem with Kuwait will be eventually resolved.
I think it will be ironed out. There is no problem that cannot be fixed. A little patience and time, it will be settled. We have strong friendship with Kuwait. Those killed Filipinos we sent when Iraq invaded Kuwait, it will not be forgotten by Kuwait, he said in a Radyo Pilipinas interview.
He said Cayetano is now investigating one of his people who released the video to the media.
We await for his official actions, and we defer to him for his judgment on what to do with his people, he said.
Roque said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III will lead an assessment mission to Kuwait.
It would be better to further our communications with the Kuwaiti authorities. It would be to see how to move forward with our bilateral ties. It would be to see what would be the future of the MOA (memorandum of agreement), if any. So, it's really exploratory. We want to feel the water, so to speak, he said.
Roque said there is no definite date yet when Bello's team will be going to Kuwait. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency