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Tigas ng ulo! Cayetano insists viral OFW rescue in Kuwait is correct

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano is standing by the conduct of a rescue mission in Kuwait despite the worsening diplomatic row between the Philippines and the Gulf state.

In a statement Saturday (April 28), Cayetano said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Labor and Employment have always ensured they come to the aid of distressed Filipinos anywhere in the world.

He maintained that the actions carried out by DFAmthe are consistent both with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

“The policy — and our resolve to pursue it — will not waver. We remain convinced that the actions we took in Kuwait are a rightful exercise of our duty under international law to protect our nationals abroad,” Cayetano said.

Kuwait was angered by the release of the video showing officials of the Philippine embassy rescuing an abused maid. It accused the Philippines of conducting the mission without proper coordination.

The diplomatic row between the Philippines and Kuwait has led to the expulsion of Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa from the Gulf state and his declaration as a persona non grata.

The DFA also confirmed that Kuwait issued arrest warrants for three Filipino diplomats, while four Filipino hires are in detention over the rescue mission.

Despite the worsening situation, Cayetano remained optimistic that the Philippines will have strong bilateral relations with the Gulf state.

“If we reach agreement on this, the ties between our two countries would become stronger than ever. In the meantime, we would like to request the kind understanding of the media and the public as we ask for diplomatic space while resolving these pending concerns with Kuwait,” he said.