Expelled PH ambassador to Kuwait arrives in Manila

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DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano welcomes Ambassador Villa at NAIA.

Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa arrived in Manila last night after being declared “persona non grata” by the Kuwaiti government due to the much-publicized rescue of distressed Filipina domestic workers in the emirate.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano welcomed Villa upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 when he arrived before midnight on board Philippine Airlines flight PR 699 from Kuwait.

“I will always have fond memories of Kuwait and its hospitable people. I sincerely hope that we can all move forward and work together with Kuwait in securing and providing our distinct core national interest, the well-being of overseas Filipinos,” Villa said.

A report in the Philippine Star said the Kuwaiti government had cut off the water and electricity supply to the ambassador’s official residence.

The report added that the electricity and water supply to the Philippine Embassy could also be cut off after three Filipino diplomats involved in the rescue operations sought shelter there. Kuwait had issued arrest warrants against the three diplomats.

The Kuwaiti government expelled Villa and ordered the arrest of the three other Filipino diplomats after video footage of the rescue operations went viral online last month.

Kuwait protested the rescue operations because they violated diplomatic norms and the Gulf state’s sovereignty.

Cayetano apologized to the Kuwaiti government, saying that the country’s actions were done “in the spirit of emergency action to protect Filipino workers.”

President Rodrigo Duterte had banned the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait following the murder of Filipina domestic worker Joanna Demafelis.

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