MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday warned Kuwait of “karma" as the sharp-tongued leader continued to lash out at the Gulf state over abuses committed by its citizens against Filipino domestic workers.
Duterte said “karma” would surely catch up with Kuwait for failing to address the plight of Filipino domestic workers.
“Ano bang nagawa ng Pilipino sa inyo? Kuwait, ang mundo umiikot ha… may tinatawag na karma. When that time comes, you’ll remember us,” Duterte said in a speech during his meet with 116 repatriated migrants from Kuwait at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Duterte also reminded the Gulf state that the Philippines once sent soldiers and peacekeepers to the Middle East to help maintain peace and stability in the region.
“Is this the way you repay us?” he said.
Duterte recently ordered a ban on the deployment of Filipinos to Kuwait in the wake of reports of abuse of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) there.
His criticism of the abuse of migrant workers escalated with the death of Filipina domestic worker Joanna Demafelis, whose body was discovered inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait this month. Initial investigation found signs of abuse.
“Biro mo ‘yang iniligay sa freezer for one year,” Duterte said separately in a speech during the mass oath-taking of his appointees in Malacañang.
“What’s the sin of my countrymen?”
DUTERTE: PAST ADMIN DIDN’T RAISE A HOWL ABOUT OFW ABUSE
Meanwhile, Duterte also hit the previous administration for not raising a howl over abuses committed against OFWs and choosing instead to deal with the problem in a diplomatic manner.
The President said he would not take the matter sitting down, unlike the previous administration which addressed similar matters under wraps.
“The past administration, pagka ganun it’s treated as sub rosa, then quietly ministerial. Ay, p*****,” Duterte said in his Malacañang speech
“Ako, hindi ko kaya ‘yan. Sabi ko, ‘No. Don’t give that s*** about just keeping silent. I will confront them.’”
Duterte has ordered the repatriation of OFWs in Kuwait who wish to come home, asking the Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific to send planes to Kuwait to fetch Filipinos there.
The President welcomed 116 repatriates who arrived in Manila on Tuesday. Another batch of 150 OFWs were due to arrive Tuesday evening.
The government gave each repatriated worker P15,000 and grocery items.
“Masaya ako na dumating kayo dito na at least buhay at walang pinsala, in good spirits,” Duterte told the OFWs during their meet-up.
“Huwag kayong mawalan ng pag-asa, ‘di naman kayo magugutom.”
Duterte added he might issue an executive order that would ensure OFW families do not go hungry.
“Punta ka lang sa DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development). Sabihin mo sabi ni Duterte dito na raw ako kukuha ng konsumo… mag-issue ako ng executive order,” he said.