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.


Afghanistan’s vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum to return home from exile

Updated 22 July 2018
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Afghanistan’s vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum to return home from exile

  • Dostum’s return follows nearly three weeks of mass protests in northern Afghanistan
  • The protests were a major headache for the government amid increased attacks by the Taliban and Daesh

KABUL: Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, who was exiled by President Ashraf Ghani’s government over allegations of sexual abuse, returned home on Sunday to rapturous reception from supporters and is set to resume his duties as normal.
Dostum’s return follows nearly three weeks of mass protests in northern Afghanistan by his ethnic Uzbek supporters, who blocked several border crossings and government institutions, and threatened to boycott the long-delayed October elections.
The protests were a major headache for the government amid increased attacks by the Taliban and Daesh in the north recently.
Dostum’s supporters accuse Ghani of having sidelined him. The protests were triggered by the arrest of Nizamuddin Qaisari, a senior commander and Dostum loyalist accused of severe human rights abuses and threatening to kill provincial officials.
In a video, government troops were seen beating Qaisari’s handcuffed guards during his arrest, stoking further anger.
Haroon Chakansuri, a spokesman for Ghani, said Dostum had gone to Turkey for nearly 14 months for unspecified medical treatment, and would return home on a chartered aircraft on Sunday and be given an official reception.
Accusations that Dostum had ordered his guards to sexually abuse and torture political rival Ahmad Eschi will be handled independently by the courts, Chakansuri said. Dostum supporters say the allegations about Eschi are a conspiracy.
Ghani picked Dostum, the self-proclaimed leader of ethnic Uzbeks, as his running mate in the 2014 elections.
Ghani last year blocked Dostum’s return from exile when he tried to fly home to form an opposition alliance including senior government members.
The ethnic Uzbek vote is essential for any candidate in the presidential elections slated for next year. Ghani has said he will stand for office again.