DFA chief slams Robredo "double-standard" on Kuwait row
Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano hit Vice President Leni Robredo for her alleged "double standard" statement on the diplomatic row between the Philippines and Kuwait.
"I’d like to assure Vice President Robredo that we are accountable: We’re accountable to the President, we’re accountable to the people, we’re accountable to God," Cayetano said on Saturday.
"Having said that, there shouldn't be double-standards," he said in response to the vice president's statement.
He said Robredo was criticizing the government for saying that the Philippines violated the sovereignty of Kuwait during the covert rescue mission of alleged abused overseas Filipino workers. The DFA made public the video of the rescue operations, irking the Kuwaiti government.
"Those foreigners who joined rallies, they are violating our sovereignty because that is illegal. Why did they (opposition) said it's allowed? But when it was us (administration) who conduct rescue, they'll criticize their own government of breaking sovereignty," he said as he recalled Robredo's recorded message to the United Nations previously criticizing the Duterte administration's war on drugs.
"If we have videos (it's wrong), but when it's her, Vice President Leni, (it's okay)," he said.
Cayetano asked critics to allow negotiations between the Philippines and Kuwait to proceed in order to resolve the diplomatic row between the two countries.
Last May 3, Robredo said the opposition was gravely concerned on the recent actions by the administration, which could jeopardize the lives of the OFWs in Kuwait.
"Decisive steps must be taken at the soonest time to rectify this situation, and prevent further harm from being inflicted on our OFWs. These must start with an honest and candid acknowledgement of the crisis, a willingness to accept accountability and a conviction to do what is right," she said.
Cayetano, meanwhile, expressed optimism that the relationship of the two countries was heading to a positive direction after the repatriation of 61 OFWs last Saturday.
"This is a very good gesture. We said thank you for the amnesty," he said, citing that some 800 OFWs still need to be repatriated. Ella Dionisio/DMS