MANILA – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has ordered Philippine Embassy in Kuwait Chargé d'Affaires Mohd. Noordin Pendosina Lomondot to stop the PHP7.5 million blood money payment over the demise of an overseas Filipino worker in Kuwait.

‘Di madadaan sa pera! Locsin blocks payment of P7.5M ‘blood money’ over OFW’s death in Kuwait

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MANILA – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has ordered Philippine Embassy in Kuwait Chargé d’Affaires Mohd. Noordin Pendosina Lomondot to stop the PHP7.5 million blood money payment over the demise of an overseas Filipino worker in Kuwait.

READ: Help thy neighbors: Locsin pledges $100K to ASEAN’s COVID-19 response fund

“The PHP7.5 million blood money to pay off this horror is changing hands even as I tweet; ordered Kuwait PE (Philippine Embassy) Lomondot to stop it,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Monday as he retweeted the photo of the deceased OFW.

READ: Magastos mag-travel! Locsin orders end to foreign trips as costs deplete passport revolving fund

He added that the Philippines “must match” the PHP7.5 million offered to the OFW’s surviving kin. “Lomondot must make sure the court judgment of death is carried out,” he said.

READ: Locsin says passport revolving fund is gone; DFA debts reach P388M

Locsin was referring to the case of Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende, whose employer was recently sentenced to death by a Kuwaiti court.

In a succeeding tweet on Tuesday, Locsin ordered the diplomat to report in writing the action taken to stop the blood money payout.

“Lomondot to report in writing the shenanigans going on there and what he’s done about it… what he’s done to stop it. We had this; he lost it; he’s gotta get it back. All trips to Middle East for photo ops and palabas stopped. Travel money needed to match blood money,” he tweeted.

Villavende’s death in December 2019 sparked outrage in Manila prompting the government to impose a deployment ban to Kuwait at the time.

Based on initial reports, she was tortured to death by her employer’s wife due to jealousy and was already “black and blue” when brought to the hospital.

On Dec. 30, 2020, the Kuwaiti Court of First Instance sentenced her female employer to death by hanging and her male employer to four years in prison. (PNA)

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POLITIKO / Across the Nation

POLITIKO / Latest News

May parusa ‘pag umayaw! AFP requires soldiers to be vaccinated vs COVID-19

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday said coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) inoculation is mandatory for all of its personnel but they have the option to choose among vaccine brands other than Sinovac at their own expense.

“Thus, to get inoculated or not is not an option for the members of the AFP, it is a duty. At the most, the exercise of an option will be the option to as to what brand of vaccine they will be availing of, but the cost of which will not be paid by the AFP,” AFP spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in an online press briefing.

Malacañang earlier announced that the first batch of Sinovac Biotech vaccines composed of 600,000 doses donated by China is set to arrive on Sunday (Feb. 28), with 100,000 doses of which will be given to the Department of National Defense, the AFP’s mother agency.

Aside from military personnel, Arevalo added that their chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana has said that their dependents must be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, those opting for other vaccine brands who decided to forego their inoculation can do so but once they are called to duty to serve as front-liners, they will have no choice but to follow.

“They must perform their duties and task but they will have to resort to the traditional health protocol, mag-mask, mag-shield, maghugas ng kamay at mag-maintain ng social distance pansamantala habang hindi pa sila natuturukan ng vaccine na pinipili nila (like the wearing of mask, face shields, regularly washing their hands, and maintaining social distance while they are yet to be vaccinated with the brand of their choice),” Arevalo said.

Meanwhile, said AFP personnel assigned and performing duties that will expose them to Covid-19 patients are required to have themselves vaccinated with the available vaccines.

He added that the AFP will play three major roles in the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine — security, medical and logistics support operations. (PNA)

Payag ba sa barter? Bello waiting for UK’s response to PH offer to deploy more healthcare workers

MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is waiting for the response of the United Kingdom (UK) on its proposed provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine amid UK’s request for an exemption from the deployment cap of Filipino healthcare workers (HCWs).

In a telephone interview on Thursday, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they expect the UK government to respond on the issue within 10 days.

“I told them for me to be able to recommend it to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases), I have to be assured of the safety of our workers. The only way we can be assured about the safety of our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) is (through) the vaccine,” he said.

Bello said the UK may want to send the coronavirus vaccines so the country can immunize the nurses before they are deployed.

“For us to be able to send our medical workers, we want to ensure that they are safe and their health is secured. We don’t have the vaccine, if they want, they can send us (vaccine),” he added.

Bello said he did not provide specific quantities of the vaccines.

“Why not include all OFWs and not just HCWs. In case they are ready to give us the vaccines, I will give them the number of OFWs that will be vaccinated. I just want to be sure that those who will be deployed have received the vaccine,” he added.

The Philippine government is asking the UK and Germany to provide vaccines against Covid-19 for OFWs as part of the agreement in relation to the deployment of health service workers, particularly nurses.

The country has two bilateral agreements with the UK in 2002 and 2003.

The UK and Germany are seeking to be exempted from the 5,000 cap on the deployment of nurses being implemented by the government to ensure there is an adequate number of nurses in the country in case the need arises.

Meanwhile, Bello said he understands the reaction of the people on the issue.

“They thought I would barter our nurses with the vaccine. I just hope that before they accuse me, they should have asked me first and look at what really happened. They just criticized and what they are saying is not true,” he added. (PNA)



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