'We don't want another Joanna Demafelis': PH lawmaker slams Kuwait

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 26 2018 06:55 AM

Watch more in iWant or TFC.tv

MANILA - ACTS OFW party-list Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz III on Thursday condemned the expulsion of Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa over the controversial rescue of Filipino domestic workers in the Gulf State.

"Hindi katanggap-tanggap ang ganitong gesture. Kinokondina ko ito," he said in a DZMM interview.

"Hindi po maganda na humarap kayo at nag-assure ang ambassador ng Kuwait na nandito sa Philippines na magiging maayos na and then bigla in-expel nila ang ating ambassador."

Kuwaiti Ambassador Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh met President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City on Monday "to discuss concerns of overseas Filipino workers and other sensitive issues" between the two nations.

Kuwaiti government's move to expel Abella came after the Philippine embassy's rescue of distressed domestic workers, which was seen as a violation of the Gulf State's sovereignty.

Bertiz however went on to defend the rescue despite the outrage.

"Ang sa ating lang naman ay kaligtasan pa rin ng ating kababayan. Ako po nakikita ko wala tayong nilabag na batas," he said.

The party-list lawmaker said the Philippine government has already conducted hundreds of rescue missions.

"We don't want to end up having another Joanna Demafelis...dahil hindi natin napakinggan at nag-antay lang tayo ng mga otoridad na maipa-coordinate lang natin sa kanila," he said.