Duterte apologizes to Kuwait for his emotional outburst
President Rodrigo Duterte has apologized for his harsh words against Kuwait prior to the signing of a bilateral labor agreement.
In a speech before the Filipino community in South Korea on Sunday, Duterte said he would push through with his trip to Kuwait even if it would take only a few hours to thank the Kuwaiti government for giving in to his conditions that would ensure the protection and welfare of the overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf state.
"For the first time, I would say that I was harsh in my language. Maybe because that was a result of emotional outburst. But I'd like to apologize now. I'm sorry for the language that I was using," he said.
"But I'm very satisfied by the way how you (Kuwait) responded to the problems of my country," Duterte added.
He reiterated Kuwait agreed there will be no confiscation of passports and cellular phones of the OFWs; that they will also be allowed to sleep at least seven hours a day and cook their own food; and no sexual harassment.
"I’d like to thank the Kuwaiti government for understanding us and keeping their faith in us and practically gave to all of my demands," Duterte said.
"In return, I’d like to go there even just a few hours to say 'thank you very much'," he added.
The Philippines and Kuwait relations were strained after the remains of a female OFW were found inside a freezer last February.
This was followed by covert rescue operations of allegedly abused OFWs by the Embassy staff in Kuwait, resulting to the expulsion of Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa.
The relationship went back to normal after the signing of the labor agreement protecting OFWs in Kuwait. Celerina Monte/DMS