News Worms
News Worms

Duterte meets second batch of repatriated Filipino workers from Kuwait

Duterte meets second batch of repatriated Filipino workers from Kuwait

"With the advent of the series of reports involving abuses and deaths of overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait, a total ban on deployment of all overseas workers ... is hereby enforced", Bello said, reading an order.

"As of now, there still no assurance if that trip to Kuwait will push through", Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing held in Tabuk, Kalinga. "Kuwait, under worldwide law, has a legal obligation to provide legal redress for the victims, Filipino victims of these horrendous crimes in Kuwait", Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

Roque said those who do not want to leave Kuwait, can opt to stay.

Bello assured Filipino workers who would be repatriated from Kuwait as well as those who would be affected by the ban that they will be assisted in finding alternative employment in the Philippines or overseas.

They represent the first batch of workers who were granted amnesty by the Kuwaiti government for overstaying without a valid visa.

Cebu Pacific said in a press statement that they are now working with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait on the final travel settlements.

Secretary Silvestre Bello III also clarified that not all workers will be forced to go home. Eight-hundred of them are arriving in the country this week.

Manila is now rushing the repatriation of an estimated 10,000 OFWs, however, the repatriation of these returning Filipinos were processed long before Duterte ordered the deployment ban.

The President earlier slammed Kuwait for the "inhuman" treatment of migrant workers following the discovery of a dead Filipino worker stuffed inside a freezer. Most are employed as seafarers and maids in countries that offer scant labor protection.

OWWA added that more than 800 undocumented Filipino workers in Kuwait were scheduled to come home.

Philippine ambassador to Kuwait Rene Villa told the publication that the ministries had assured him if the suspects were in Lebanon they could be extradited within "probably two weeks" but it would be "very hard" for police to make arrests if they had fled to Syria.

Last Friday Duterte hit out at Kuwait as he brandished photos reportedly of a Filipina maid found in a freezer. The body was and showed signs she may have been strangled to death, authorities said. Both are said to have left Kuwait in November 2016.

The Philippines is one of the world's largest exporters of labour, including domestic workers, whose remittances of over $2 billion annually are a major contributor to the country's economy.

"We condemn the statements of the Philippine president, especially since we are in contact with the Philippines at the highest level to fully explain the state of the Filipino workforce in Kuwait", he said.

He said the country was also looking at alternative markets like Russian Federation and China. "This is a national shame and yet we proclaim the OFWs [overseas Filipino workers] the modern-day heroes of the republic".

"I could not stomach this".

Duterte also implored the Kuwaiti government and to the Arab nations to protect the Filipinos working in their countries.


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