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Duterte Appeals To Kuwait Leaders: Treat Filipino Workers With Dignity
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech before departing from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 in Pasay City to New Delhi, India on January 24, 2018. (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
January 25th, 2018 | 09:40 AM | 665 views
Filipino workers will be pulled out from Kuwait if another citizen dies in the Gulf state, President Duterte warned Wednesday.
The President issue the warning as he appealed to Kuwait authorities to treat Filipino workers as “human beings with dignity” amid reports of widespread abuse and exploitation.
“One more incident about a woman, a Filipina worker being raped there, committing suicide, I am going to stop, I am going to ban. And I’m sorry, the Filipinos there, you can all go home,” the President said in a speech at the Manila airport, before leaving for India on Wednesday.
“Tutal ‘pag na — nag-alis kayo lahat na mga Pilipino diyan [Once all Filipinos leave the place], they will also be having a hell of a time adjusting to that,” he added.
The President made clear that he does not want to fight with Kuwait, which he considers an ally, but asked the government to act against the abuses and ensure the protection of the migrant workers.
“Can I ask you now just to treat my countrymen as human beings with dignity?” he said.
“I do not want to fight with you. We need your help to improve our country,” he said, citing the contribution of the Filipino overseas remittances to local economic growth.
Duterte argued that the country needs Kuwait’s help but “not at the expense of dignity” of the Filipino worker.
“Nakakatulong kayo pero [You are helping us ] if it ends up with misery, rape and everything, and my countrymen committing suicide, well, there’s always a time,” he said.
“We are poor, we may need your help but we will not do it at the expense of the dignity of the Filipino,” he said.
Duterte said: “Let me be blunt about this because Kuwait has always been an ally but please do something about it.”
The President echoed his message on the protection of Filipino workers to “all the other countries in the Middle East.”
“We have been sending Filipinos, doctors, and nurses to help you also and in return, helping us in the very much-needed revenues for their families here. I hope that you’d listen to me because I mean well but I will never, never, never again tolerate (injustice),” he said.
“One more incident of rape to the point of committing suicide, jumping out of the window, that is something the Filipino people cannot stomach,” he said.
Duterte said if he could not do something for the Filipino workers, there was no reason for him “to stay in this position a minute longer.”
The President earlier said he wanted a total ban on the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait following the deaths of several Filipina workers. Duterte said the deaths were “not acceptable anymore,” urging Kuwaiti leaders to address the situation.
courtesy of MANILA BULLETIN
by Genalyn Kabiling
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