Duterte refrains from issuing harsh statement vs Kuwait as 'much is at stake'
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday he would no longer issue statements that would worsen the relationship with Kuwait, saying that much is at stake.
In his speech in Cebu City where he marked the Labor Day celebration, Duterte said those Filipinos in the Gulf state who want to go home could be assisted by the government.
"We will mobilize continuously until everyone who wants out there would come home...I won't say anything anymore because so much is at stake," Duterte said, adding he would just wants to have a "soft landing" with the Philippine relationship with Kuwait.
The Philippines and Kuwait have been embroiled in a diplomatic row after the covert rescue operations of allegedly abused Filipino workers by the Embassy staff in Kuwait.
Prior to that, Duterte has ordered a total deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf state following the murder of a Filipina domestic helper whose remains were found inside a freezer last February.
Kuwait expelled Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa and recalled its own ambassador in Manila after the video of the covert rescue operations came out.
When he returned from Singapore over the weekend, Duterte said he would permanently ban the deployment of workers to Kuwait.
But Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque clarified that there was no permanent ban.
Roque has said the ban would be lifted as soon as an acceptable labor agreement is signed between the two countries.
Duterte reiterated the conditions that should be contained in the labor deal, which is still being worked out by the two countries. Celerina Monte/DMS