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.”


Russia says allegations COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe are groundless

Updated 12 August 2020

Russia says allegations COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe are groundless

  • Moscow’s decision to grant it approval has raised concerns among some experts
  • Only about 10% of clinical trials are successful and some scientists fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety

MOSCOW: Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday allegations that Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine was unsafe were groundless and driven by competition, the Interfax news agency reported.
President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, after less than two months of human testing.
Moscow’s decision to grant it approval has raised concerns among some experts. Only about 10% of clinical trials are successful and some scientists fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.