Duterte tells Filipinos in Kuwait: ‘Come home’

Estimated read time 6 min read

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Consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis.” byline=”staff reporter” caption=”Kuwait.” credits=”ARCHIVE”]

Duterte tells Filipinos in Kuwait: ‘Come home’

 

DUBAI – Amid diplomatic tensions, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called on Filipinos working in Kuwait to return home.

Duterte’s call to the 260,000 Filipinos in the Gulf country came after Kuwait expelled the Filipino ambassador when videos circulated of Philippine embassy officials helping Filipino workers flee their employers’ homes.

Tensions started in February when Duterte imposed a ban on Filipinos working in Kuwait, lamenting what he said was tragic abuses of Filipino household workers there. It also came after the body of Philippine national Joanna Demafelis was found stuffed in a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait.

In a speech in Singapore on Saturday, Duterte urged Filipinos to be patriotic.

“I am appealing to my countrymen to come home…To all Filipinos listening, come home to the Philippines …I now appeal to your sense of patriotism. Come home,” he said on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit.

“For Filipino professionals who may wish to stay in Kuwait, there’s no problem. But at the same time, I would like them to cherish and nurture their patriotism,” Duterte said.

“For Filipino household service workers, if your Kuwaiti employers want you to leave, then please come home. Your government will do its best to help you return,” Duterte was quoted as saying by various media in the Philippines.

Duterte, however, insisted that there was no hatred in his heart towards Kuwait, which he described as “a good friend”.

“In a very diplomatic way, I do not want to destroy a good neighbour, a good friend. For after all, they have helped us for many years, and they accepted our Filipino brothers and sisters,” he said.

“But the problem is I can no longer accept what’s happening. Do not hurt them. Just help us… I plead that they be given the treatment deserving of a human being,” he added.

He urged the country to help the Philippine government repatriate distressed Filipinos there.

“If the presence of Filipinos is a burden to you, allow us to get them out. As the President of the nation, it behoves upon me to do something,” he said.

In Kuwait, Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Al Jarallah said there would be no response from Kuwait to Duterte’s remarks until the foreign ministry receives the official statement, local daily Al Seyassah reported.

Al Seyassah reported that the Kuwaiti parliament will hold talks on Tuesday on the “illegal operations by the Philippine embassy in Kuwait” and the government’s position. GAD/Expat Media

 

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