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Kuwait lawmaker calls for probe into Philippines actions
April 25, 2018, 3:26 pm

Al Hajraf believes the Philippines is pushing for business deals as is using the issue of domestic workers as a facade

A Kuwaiti lawmaker has called for an investigation to understand the “circumstances of the suspicious and rapid and successive changes adopted by the Philippines towards Kuwait.”

“The case of house workers is just a façade for other issues that include business deals, commissions and commercial contracts between officials in Kuwait and some sides in the Philippines,” MP Mubarak Al Hajraf said.

“What is happening is some kind of pressure under the claim of dealing with house workers,” he said without elaborating in a statement carried by Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas on Wednesday.

The lawmaker issued his statement hours after Philippine officials in Manila and Kuwait City apologised for remarks and embassy activities that were widely condemned in Kuwait. Last week, officials in the Philippines said that they had a special team on the ground in Kuwait that “rescued distressed” domestic helpers by driving them away from the homes of their employers.

Videos showing some of the operations were posted online. However, Kuwait said that the clandestine operations were a violation of its sovereignty and of the diplomatic norms stipulated in the Vienna Convention.

The foreign ministry summoned Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa on Friday to hand him two protest notes over the offensive remarks and suspicious activities. It also summoned him again on Saturday over remarks he gave to a Kuwaiti daily.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Al Jarallah said reducing the number of Filipino diplomats in Kuwait was a possibility. Lawmakers were more vociferous and called for more stringent action and one lawyer filed a legal suit calling for the expulsion of the ambassador.

On Tuesday, the Philippines apologised to Kuwait and the two countries agreed on a set of measures, including setting up a hotline, to ensure such an incident is not repeated. However, for MP Al Hajraf, more was needed to be done for the sake of Kuwait.

“Moves move to consolidate the sovereignty of Kuwait cannot be reduced to protecting its territory and using armies.

They should also include viewing prejudice to the security of the country and its reputation as not less important. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should adopt the appropriate response to the measures taken by the Philippines towards Kuwait. The response should be in line with the norms of sovereignty and diplomacy.”

Source: Gulf News

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