Palace says it's Duterte's duty to protect Filipinos abroad following Kuwaiti's condemnation
Malacanang defended on Thursday President Rodrigo Duterte's harsh statements against Kuwait after the body of a female Filipino worker, who was reported missing for almost one year, was found inside a freezer.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the remark after Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah criticized Duterte's statement for blaming the Kuwaiti government for failure to protect Filipino workers.
Roque said Duterte could not be faulted to call Kuwait and other governments to protect the Filipinos working in their respective countries.
"You repeatedly condemn our President, but it's the duty of the President to provide protection for the Filipino citizens wherever they are," he said.
Duterte has ordered Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano to secure the commitment of Kuwaiti government in protecting the Filipino workers, he said.
Cayetano met Kuwaiti Ambassador to Manila Saleh Ahmad Althwaik on Thursday.
Roque, a lawyer, reminded Kuwaiti authorities of standards by which foreigners should be treated in their territory.
"And under international law, each country is bound to give to the nationals of another country in its territory the benefit of the same laws, the same administration, the same protection and the same redress for injury which gives its own citizens neither more or less provided the protection which the country gives to its own citizens conforms to the established standard of civilization," he said.
He cited foreign jurisprudence regarding the basis of state liability when it fails to protect aliens in its territory.
He said when there is breach of international obligation, "it must amount to an outrage, bad faith or willful neglect of duty."
"I’d like to think that the long-term Philippine-Kuwaiti relations will not be affected. However, this consultation between the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Kuwaiti Ambassador as we all know is a very important consultation," Roque said.
Duterte has ordered a total deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait after the discovery of the Filipina inside the freezer. Prior to that, the Philippines has suspended the deployment of Filipino workers to the Gulf state following the death of seven OFWs who allegedly committed suicide after they were abused and maltreated by their employers. Celerina Monte/DMS