President Rodrigo Duterte of Philistines on Friday said that the ban on deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait will stay and threatened to take "drastic measures" if the abuses continue.
Duterte fumed at the Kuwaiti government over the death of Joanna Daniela Dimapilis, a Filipina domestic helper whose body was found inside a freezer in an apartment which was abandoned for more than a year.
Duterte plans to talk with Kuwaiti officials after the series of deaths of Filipinos who were working there.
While saying that he can not divulge what was discussed during their closed-door meeting, Duterte said that he is planning to going to the Gulf State to appeal about the plight of OFWs in Kuwait. "Kailangan 'yan eh", Duterte told the media in Davao City late Friday.
Duterte said he could not stomach the persistent abuses that had pushed some Filipino migrant workers in Kuwait to commit suicide.
Ejercito also urged the Philippine government to review policies concerning the deployment of OFWs since Kuwait "has not yet signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) created to protect Filipino migrant workers" in their country.
The labour department said they still have to thresh out other details, specifically on the workers that would be covered by the order..
"We went there. We were enthusiastic". We fought to protect your interest. We did not fail you.
"We will count our lives by the hours because apparently, every hour, there is a suffering and agony, brutality committed [on] Filipinos", the President said. "And you seem to be oblivious about it", he said.
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"We do not intend to offend any government, but if a ban is what is needed, then let it be so".
The president added he was not seeking "special treatment" from the Kuwaiti government or privileges for OFWs but he insisted that they should be treated with dignity, respect and as human beings.
He said the country's airlines will fly Filipinos home free-of-charge if they can't afford a ticket.
He added, "The ban continues today and I don't know until what time".
"We are outraged by this latest terrible crime against our overseas Filipino workers", he added.
"We support the President's call to continuously ban the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait".
"This is a national shame and yet we proclaim the OFW's the modern heroes of our Republic", he said. The Kuwaiti authorities are now in search for her employers, Lebanese Nader Assaf and his Syrian wife. "Seventy-hours to go there and pick up the Filipinos na gustong umuwi (who want to go home)", the President said.
The columnist urged President Rodrigo Duterte and his government to focus on improving people's livelihoods instead of being preoccupied with an "unwinnable" war on drugs that was falsely seen as his country's priority problem. "In fact, the valedictorian of the recent batch is a woman", she said.