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Duterte to personally plead for Kuwait OFWs

10 February 2018

The Philippine Association of Agencies for Kuwait (PHILAAK) made the statement a day after President Rodrigo Duterte lamented the case of a Filipino worker found dead, hidden in a freezer, in Kuwait.

Trump visited the Philippine capital, Manila, in November to meet Duterte and attend an annual summit with Asian and Western leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Chief Executive said he can not divulge what was discussed during their closed-door meeting but he said that he is planning to visit the Gulf State to appeal the plight of OFWs in Kuwait.

Then on Friday, Duterte declared in a nationally televised news conference in southern Davao city, his hometown, that he wants the helicopter deal, along with purchases of unspecified USA weapons, halted.

He expressed disappointment on the Kuwaiti government about the abuses Filipino workers are experiencing from their employers in the Gulf State.

Ejercito also urged the Philippine government to review policies concerning the deployment of OFWs since Kuwait "has not yet signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) created to protect Filipino migrant workers" in their country. "But if a ban is what is needed, then let it be so", Duterte said in a press briefing at Matina Enclave, Davao City on Friday.

"We lost about - wounded seriously three of our citizens fighting for the cause of the peace in the Middle East focused on the fear of your government that you will be invaded again", he added. We fought to protect your interest. We did not fail you.

Duterte asked Kuwait "What are you doing to my countrymen?"

"We do not seek special treatment or privileges for our workers, but we do expect respect for their dignity and basic human rights". Villanueva said in a statement.

"Do not give us back a battered worker or a mutilated corpse".

Villanueva proposed to stop sending OFWs "where they are not being treated properly". "We should not wait for another OFW to die for us to act on this", Villanueva said. "I want them out of the country those who want to go out in 72 hours", he said.

Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes, one of Duterte's most vocal critics, immediately reacted on Friday and stressed that the Philippines does not need a dictator at this time.

Villar said there were many job opportunities in the country.

"So everyone who wants to come home, I said to Secretary Bello, those who want to be repatriated, with or without money, I will ask PAL and Cebu Pacific to provide the transportation".

She revealed that they are actually in the process of formulating a set of policy and other recommendations to the administration regarding the welfare of OFWs.

Some 252,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, many as maids, with reports of widespread abuse and exploitation.

But the Philippine government never hide its intention to use the Canadian-built helicopters in military operations, even going as far as displaying the first batch of those choppers armed with machine guns during an official ceremony in 2015 attended by Canada's ambassador to that southeast Asian country.

Duterte to personally plead for Kuwait OFWs