Kuwait orders arrest of 3 Filipino diplomats, says DFA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 26 2018 08:54 PM

MANILA - Kuwait has ordered the arrest of three Filipino diplomats, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

In a statement, the DFA said it served a diplomatic note to the Embassy of Kuwait over the issuance of arrest warrants against three Filipino diplomats, the expulsion of Philippine Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa, and the continued detention of four other Filipino embassy personnel.

"The Department served a diplomatic note to the Embassy of Kuwait conveying its strong surprise and great displeasure over the declaration of Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa as persona non grata; the continued detention of four Filipinos hired by the Philippine Embassy; and the issuance of arrest warrants against three diplomatic personnel," the DFA said.

The DFA, however, did not name the Filipino diplomats and embassy personnel involved.

Kuwait on Wednesday ordered Villa to leave the country following the controversial rescue of Filipino migrant workers from the homes of their employers.

The envoy's action came amid persistent reports of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) experiencing abuse in the hands of their employers in the Gulf state. 

The DFA said it believes Kuwait's actions were "inconsistent with the assurances and representations" made by the Gulf state's ambassador during his meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.

The Philippines and Kuwait are finalizing a deal for the protection of Filipino workers in the Gulf state. Talks began following a string of reported abuse and deaths of OFWs, including Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found in a freezer in Kuwait in February. 

The incident prompted the Philippine government to ban the deployment of Filipino workers to the Gulf state and initiate a repatriation program for those who would like to come home.