Philippines set to impose total ban on deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shows a photo of a Filipina worker in Kuwait, of whom he said she had been "roasted like a pig", during a press conference in the southern island of Mindanao on Feb. 9, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 10 February 2018
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Philippines set to impose total ban on deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait

MANILA: The Philippine government on Monday will order a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait.
This comes in the wake of the death of another Filipina, Joanna Daniela Dimapilis, whose body was found this week inside a freezer in an apartment in Kuwait which had been abandoned by her employers in 2016.
“A formal order on a total deployment ban will be issued by Secretary (Silvestre) Bello on Monday,” Raul Francia, spokesperson of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said this weekend.
Francia, however, did not give further details on who would be covered by the total ban. This, he said, has yet to be determined.
Bello last month issued Administrative Order No. 25, directing the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to suspend processing of overseas employment certificates (OECs) of Kuwait-bound workers pending investigation on the causes of death of seven OFWs in that country.
Francia also said that the secretary was set to talk to two local airline companies, the flag carrier Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, for the repatriation of workers in Kuwait. Both airlines have signified willingness to help OFWs in Kuwait.
As this developed, Cebu Pacific said in a statement on Saturday it "will be mounting a special flight to Kuwait to assist our kababayans (fellow men) who wish to be repatriated to the Philippines." It is now coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait. Further information on the special flight will be released once finalized.
This follows a directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to the labor secretary to repatriate distressed Filipino workers in Kuwait who want to return.
Duterte issued the order to Bello during a press conference on Friday, wherein the president became emotional as he showed graphic photos of of Dimapilis who, based on examination, bore fatal stab wounds to the neck and torture marks across her body.
A furious Duterte said he is "ready to take drastic steps that will help preserve Filipino life and limb."
"We do not intend to offend any government or anyone. But if a ban is what is needed, let it be," he added.
The president then said that the suspension on the deployment of workers to Kuwait would remain indefinitely.


Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, right, accompanied by Gov. Gavin Newsom, said California will probably sue President Donald Trump over his emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP)
Updated 57 min 12 sec ago
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Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency

  • The complaint added that the Department of Homeland Security had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to evaluate the environmental impact of the wall in California and New Mexico

SAN FRANCISCO: Sixteen US states sued President Donald Trump’s administration Monday over his decision to declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the southern border with Mexico, saying the move violated the constitution.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, said the president’s order was contrary to the Presentment Clause that outlines legislative procedures and the Appropriations Clause, which defines Congress as the final arbiter of public funds.
The move had been previously announced by Xavier Becerra the attorney general of California who said his state and others had legal standing because they risked losing moneys intended for military projects, disaster assistance and other purposes.
Several Republican senators have decried the emergency declaration, saying it establishes a dangerous precedent and amounts to executive overreach.
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia are party to the complaint seeking an injunction.
“Use of those additional federal funds for the construction of a border wall is contrary to Congress’s intent in violation of the US Constitution, including the Presentment Clause and Appropriations Clause,” the complaint said.
It added that Trump had “veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making.”
“Congress has repeatedly rebuffed the president’s insistence to fund a border wall, recently resulting in a record 35-day partial government shutdown over the border wall dispute,” the document read.
“After the government reopened, Congress approved, and the president signed into law, a $1.375 billion appropriation for fencing along the southern border, but Congress made clear that funding could not be used to build President Trump’s proposed border wall.”
The complaint added that the Department of Homeland Security had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to evaluate the environmental impact of the wall in California and New Mexico.
Friday’s declaration enables the president to divert funds from the Pentagon’s military construction budget and other sources.