MANILA President Rodrigo Duterte has apologized to Kuwait for his harsh language during the recent diplomatic row triggered by the death of a Filipina and the government’s rescue operations for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Gulf State.
For the first time, I would say that I was harsh in my language. Maybe because that was a result of emotional outburst. But I’d like to apologize now. I’m sorry for the language that I was using, Duterte said in his speech before the Filipino community in Seoul, South Korea last Sunday.
The death of 29-year-old Filipina Joanna Demafelis whose body was found in a freezer has prompted Duterte to order last April a permanent ban on deployment of OFWs in Kuwait.
The problem worsened when a video showing the Philippine embassy’s rescue operations for distressed Filipino workers from their alleged abusive employers went viral and angered the Kuwaiti government.
In protest over what it called undiplomatic acts by Philippine embassy staff, Kuwait had recalled its ambassador in Manila and expelled Philippine ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa.
Officials from both countries, however, made great efforts to resolve the issue, resulting in the signing of the memorandum of agreement that will protect Filipino workers and the lifting of the deployment ban.
Duterte said he is planning to visit Kuwait to personally express his gratitude to the Kuwaiti government for granting his demands to protect Filipino workers.
I think I’ll go there. I’d like to thank the Kuwaiti government for understanding us and keeping their faith in us and practically gave to all of my demands, Duterte said.
The agreement signed between the two countries requires employers to provide day-off per week, food, enough sleep, housing, insurance and prohibit confiscation of passports. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency