Cayetano apologizes to Kuwait over PH embassy's rescue ops

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Kuwait on Wednesday recalled its ambassador to the Philippines and gave the Filipino envoy in Kuwait a week to leave the country amid a diplomatic row over Filipina domestic workers in the country, the Gulf News reported.

"We are optimistic that following our conversation with Ambassador Saleh, the remaining issues between the Philippines and Kuwait will be resolved", it added.

"It is in this spirit that I apologized to my counterpart and we apologized to the Kuwaiti government, Kuwaiti people and the leaders of Kuwait if they were offended by some actions taken by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait", Cayetano said.

Another depicts a person sprinting from what looks like a construction site and then speeding off in a black sport utility vehicle.

Three Filipinos who drove vans for the embassy in the operations were believed to be held by Kuwaiti authorities.

The treatment of Filipina domestic workers in the Gulf state came under the spotlight after the murder of maid in the country.

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Duterte last month ordered workers in Kuwait to return over reports of abuse following the discovery of a domestic worker's body in a freezer in an abandoned home.

There are 600 Filipino workers in embassy-run halfway houses in Kuwait, Cayetano said, with about 120 more who have sought rescue from employers due abuse and tough working conditions.

Gatchalian, a member of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, said the extraordinary rescue mission by embassy officials and staff in Kuwait were borne out of an urgent necessity to save OFWs from dangerously abusive situation. Prospects of a worker agreement are under way, with the president previously saying he will visit Kuwait to witness the signing of the accord.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said there are about 250,000 Filipinos working in Kuwait, most as domestic helpers.

Renato Villa read from a statement in Kuwait City on Tuesday. "But we explained to them that these acts, we felt, were necessary in saving and protecting Filipino lives", Cayetano said.

About 10 million Filipinos work overseas and the money they send back is a lifeline of the Philippines economy.

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