President Duterte tells Filipinos in Kuwait to come home

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks to members of the Filipino community during a gathering in Singapore on April 28, 2018. (AFP / NICHOLAS YEO)
Updated 28 April 2018

President Duterte tells Filipinos in Kuwait to come home

  • Diplomatic row deepens over alleged abuse of domestic workers that led to expulsion of Philippine ambassador to Kuwait 
  • Kuwait has expelled Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa after over the “rescue” of Filipino workers from the homes of their employers

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday urged all Filipinos in Kuwait to come home amid a deepening diplomatic dispute over the treatment of domestic workers in the Gulf state.
Duterte made the call in a speech before the Filipino community in Singapore where he attended the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit of leaders.
This came three days after Kuwait expelled Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa over the “rescue” of Filipino workers from the homes of their employers — an act which the Kuwaiti government views as a violation of its sovereignty.
“Our secretary for foreign affairs (Alan Peter Cayetano) has apologized. And I respect your decision,” Duterte said, as he acknowledged that the two nations were now put to the test to “work this out.” 
Duterte said that he did not want to destroy good relations with a neighbor and friend who, for many years, had helped the country.
He said that he wanted to settle things in a diplomatic way. “I address myself to the Kuwait government and the people (of Kuwait). Thank you for all your help to my countrymen all these years. It is a debt of gratitude that after all you have been of help (to Filipinos). So, I have no hatred,” Duterte said.
“The problem is I can no longer accept what’s happening today,” he said.
The Philippine president said that if the presence of Filipinos was now a burden on Kuwait, “allow us to get them out.”
“Just do not hurt them. I plead that they be given treatment deserving of a human being,” he said, adding that he wanted to negotiate with Kuwait after the Filipino workers returned home.
“I will look for money and I will bring home all Filipino workers there,” he said.
Duterte said he intended to use the 5 billion pesos ($0.09 billion) that the Philippines received from China to bring home the Filipino workers. He would also look for employment opportunities for those who came back.
Addressing all Filipinos in Kuwait, including professionals, Duterte said: “I now appeal to your sense of patriotism, come home.”
Duterte reiterated his gratitude to the government of Kuwait: “Thank you for your generosity in the past years. I am appealing to my countrymen to come home. Apparently, it seems that you (Kuwait) do not like the way they are expected to serve their employer. Sorry for that. Some of them really do not know the culture also.”
In his speech, Duterte said that there was now a ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait because “I don’t like anymore to send them there.”


Britain’s William and Kate begin ‘complex’ tour of Pakistan

Updated 34 min 9 sec ago

Britain’s William and Kate begin ‘complex’ tour of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Prince William and his wife Kate arrived in Pakistan to a red carpet welcome late Monday for their “most complex” tour to date, with Islamabad eager to tout improved security after years of violent militancy.
The couple — the Duchess of Cambridge in a sea-green shalwar kameez, and the Duke in a dark suit — were greeted by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and presented with flowers after they landed in a British government plane at a military base in Rawalpindi, the garrison city adjacent to the capital Islamabad, state television images showed.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge (@katemidleton) on


Details of the five-day visit are being kept under wraps. Security is expected to be tight for the couple’s first official trip to Pakistan, and the first visit by a British royal since William’s father Charles and his wife Camilla came in 2006.
In addition to Islamabad they are set to visit the ancient Mughal capital of Lahore, as well as the mountainous north and the region near the border with Afghanistan in the west.
Kensington Palace has called the trip “the most complex tour undertaken by The Duke and Duchess to date, given the logistical and security considerations.”
The couple are also expected to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was close friends with William’s mother, the late Princess Diana.
“I’ve always been struck by the warmth in Pakistan toward the Royal Family,” British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said in a video published to Twitter late Sunday.

Britain's William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are welcomed as they arrive in Islamabad, Pakistan. (Reuters)

The couple’s program will pay respect to Britain’s historic relationship with Pakistan, once part of colonial India, he said.
“But it will focus largely on showcasing Pakistan as it is today, a dynamic, aspirational, and forward-looking nation,” Drew continued.
They are expected to see Pakistan’s efforts to combat climate change and learn about the “complex security” of the region, among other issues, a statement from Kensington Palace said earlier this month.
Pakistan has waged a long battle with militancy which has seen tens of thousands of people killed in the past 15 or so years.
Charles’ and Camilla’s 2006 trip was tainted when they were forced to pull out of a visit to Peshawar over safety concerns after the military launched an airstrike on a religious school that killed 80 people.
But security has improved dramatically since the army intensified a crackdown on militant groups in 2015, with several countries changing their travel warnings for Pakistan as a result, and Islamabad eager to promote both tourism and foreign investment.
There are promising signs, such as the British Airways return earlier this year after more than a decade, and the slow but steady revival of international cricket.
Analysts have long warned that Pakistan is not yet getting to the root causes of extremism, however, and militants retain the ability to carry out attacks, including in urban areas.
Moments before the couple’s arrival Monday, Qureshi used televised comments to invoke the memory of Diana, who charmed Pakistanis when she visited in her official capacity in 1991.
She also made several private visits in later years to help Khan — then a cricketer-turned-opposition politician married to her friend Jemima — raise money for a cancer hospital in Lahore.
“She is held in very high esteem in Pakistan... We are happy that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now coming,” Qureshi said.
The visit showed that Pakistan has come out of “difficult times,” he added.
Pakistan was carved out of colonial India to become independent from Britain in 1947, creating an Islamic Republic for the subcontinent’s Muslims.
Britain is home to more than a million people of Pakistani origin, making it the largest Pakistani diaspora community in Europe.