Category Archives: Asia

Statement of the DFA on the action taken by the state of Kuwait against Ambassador Villa

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been informed that Ambassador Renato O. Villa has been declared unacceptable by the State of Kuwait and has been given one week to return to Manila.

The action taken by the Kuwaiti Government is deeply disturbing as it is inconsistent with the assurances given by Kuwaiti Ambassador Musaed Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh during his meeting with Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano in Manila on Tuesday.

The Department will ask Ambassador Saleh to explain first thing tomorrow why the Kuwaiti Government reneged on the agreement reached with him to work together to move bilateral relations between the Philippines and Kuwait forward.

In discussions at every level with Kuwait, the Philippines has always emphasized that the well-being of Filipino nationals wherever they may be will always be of paramount importance.

The protection of the rights and the promotion of the welfare of Filipinos abroad would always be the guiding principle of the Philippines in its relationship with countries around the world, including Kuwait.

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Kuwait declares Filipino ambassador persona non-grata, recalls envoy in Manila

The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that it had notified the Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa that he is persona non-grata in the country asking him to return home in a week.

The ministry, which also declared recalling the State of Kuwait Ambassador to the Philippines for consultation, said its action against the top Filipino envoy was in retaliation for undiplomatic acts by Philippine embassy staff, encouraging Filipino domestic workers to flee employers’ households.

The ministry, in an official statement, renewed its utter rejection and condemnation of the Philippine embassy “flagrant and grave breach of rules and regulations that govern diplomatic action, where staff helped Filipina house helpers run away.” The ministry termed such illegal acts as blatant violation of the State of Kuwait law, international covenants and charters, tantamount to intervention in the state domestic affairs and meddling in jurisdictions of the security apparatuses.

These acts also constitute flagrant violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, namely Provision 41 that bars infringement on individuals’ prerogatives and immunities, respecting states’ laws and non-intervening in their local affairs.

The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry statement noted that Philippine officials stated that the foreign ministry of the Asian nation dispatched “reinforcements to the embassy in Kuwait; comprised of seven teams affiliated with the foreign undersecretary for labor in immigration at pretext of rescuing female housemaids in Kuwait.” “The State of Kuwait Government affirms that such acts and statements constitute explicit breach of international principles and covenants,” the official statement said.

These acts had prompted the ministry to summon the Philippine ambassador twice, lodging with him complaints expressing the State of Kuwait extreme dismay and denunciation of such dangerous transgressions, coupled with an explicit request that the embassy deliver names of the Filipinos who had committed the offense of smuggling Filipina workers in three months.

“However this duration has passed without any response from the embassy.” The Government of the State of Kuwait, represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in line with its duties and responsibilities toward acts against the country sovereignty, regulations and security, affirms that it along with the concerned security apparatuses will continue tracking down those who assailed the country security and prosecute them according to relevant international diplomatic laws.

Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to consider the Philippine ambassador to the State of Kuwait persona non-grata according to Provision 9 of the Vienna Convention, thus he must leave the country in maximum one week.

Secondly, the department is calling back the Kuwaiti ambassador to the Philippines for consultation.

The ministry affirmed “determination to move from this extraordinary situation toward wider horizons of solid and joint relations as part of the historic and deep-rooted ties between the two countries.” Furthermore, it emphasized necessity of tackling the issue “with wisdom and prudence, without any negative and harmful media sensationalism for sake of attaining the common aspiration toward distinctive and sound bilateral relations between the two friendly counties.” Kuwait and the Philippines established diplomatic relations in 1979.

Philippines apologizes to Kuwait after rescuing domestic workers

Manila: The Philippines apologized on Tuesday for what Kuwait viewed as violation of its sovereignty after the Southeast Asian nation’s embassy “rescued” several domestic workers from their employers’ homes amid reports of abuse.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the embassy was forced to “assist” Filipino workers who sought help because some situations were a matter of life and death.

“We respect Kuwaiti sovereignty and laws, but the welfare of Filipino workers is also very important,” he said, adding that domestic helpers account for more than 65 percent of the more than 260,000 Filipinos in Kuwait.

Cayetano said Kuwait had accepted the Philippines’ explanation after the Kuwaiti ambassador met Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and held talks with Cayetano.

“We’re sending a note now to my counterpart, and we are apologizing for certain incidents that Kuwait views as violation of their sovereignty,” Cayetano told reporters.

In Saturday’s operation, the workers were taken to shelter houses ran by the embassy and would soon be repatriated, diplomats in Manila said.

“The workers voluntarily went with embassy staff who waited outside the homes of the domestic helpers’ employers,” said a diplomat. The employers did not hand over their passports.

Some workers were persuaded to leave their employers, he said.

Philippines asks for ‘diplomatic space’ while settling issues with Kuwait

Davao: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte received Kuwaiti Ambassador Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh in Davao City early this evening to discuss concerns of overseas Filipino workers and other sensitive issues between the Philippines and Kuwait.

During the meeting, Ambassador Saleh reiterated to us the commitment of the Kuwaiti Government to protect and ensure the welfare of thousands of Filipinos working there. For our part, we gave renewed assurances of our respect for the sovereignty of the State of Kuwait and the dignity of the Kuwaiti people.

We also agreed to continue to work together to address matters of mutual concern and will update the public of developments. We, however, would like to appeal for the public’s kind understanding as we ask for some diplomatic space to allow us to continue our engagement with our Kuwaiti counterparts.

We are optimistic that following our conversation with Ambassador Saleh early this evening, the remaining issues between the Philippines and Kuwait will be resolved.

Pres. Spokesperson on Kuwait calling out PH Amb : Hopefully not affect on MOA

Roque on Kuwait calling out Philippine ambassador: Sana hindi (makaapekto sa hinuhulmang MOA) but by filing a diplomatic protest, it’s an expression of displeasure. Malacañang on Monday expressed hope that the draft deal between the Philippines and Kuwait for the protection of Filipino workers will not be affected by reports against Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa.

Phl FM says he will meet with Kuwaiti ambassador to PH later Monday

Cayetano says he will meet with Kuwaiti ambassador to PH al-Thuwaikh later Monday to discuss summoning of PH Amb. Villa in Kuwait over rescue of distressed maids from Kuwaiti houses.

He will also relay the country’s gratitude for the Kuwaiti government’s assistance in the repatriation of undocumented OFWs, as well as its concerns that should be addressed before the Philippines lifts its deployment ban for Kuwait-bound workers.