Diaspora News

Filipino diplomats held in Kuwait return home

By Benjie Lim Vergara

(File Photo) The Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 © rappler.com

THREE Philippine Embassy employees who were allegedly involved in the controversial rescue of Overseas Filipino Workers in Kuwait came home Friday afternoon after being held in prison there for several days.

Officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) refused to identify the three DFA personnel, who were immediately whisked to a waiting vehicle at the Terminal 1 ramp area after landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Around 10 DFA officials, including Presidential Adviser on OFWs Abdullah Mama-o, met the trio upon exiting the plane that brought them home.

The trio were briefly imprisoned by the Kuwaiti government last month due to their involvement in the controversial DFA move to rescue the OFWs from their abusive employers without coordinating with the Kuwaiti government.

The poorly executed rescue attempt became known to the Kuwaitis after it was recorded and posted in YouTube and later Facebook by a DFA personnel and a pro-Duterte blogger, in an apparent bid to gain propaganda points.

The incident was deemed by the Kuwaitis an affront to their sovereignty and resulted in the near break off of diplomatic ties between the said Gulf state and the Philippines. But with great skill on the part of professional Filipino diplomats and labor representatives, the diplomatic ties between Kuwait and the Philippines was repaired and restored, and the Memorandum of Agreement on the Protection of OFW in the said country was signed.

Meanwhile, knowledgeable sources at the country’s premier airport told Beyond Deadlines that the four Filipino drivers, who were also arrested in connection with the now scandalous rescue attempt, will also return home soon.

Benjie Vergara
A veteran reporter covering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. He is currently writing for Manila Times, the Philippines' oldest newspaper.

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