Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte orders Filipinos back from Kuwait
Filipinos in Kuwait have been ordered back to the Philippines within the next three days, after the body of a maid was found stored in a freezer in the Gulf state.
Publish date : Saturday 10 February 2018 09:45
President Rodrigo Duterte
spoke to the nation live on television on Friday, telling nationals working in Kuwait they had 72 hours to leave the country.
Holding up images showing the dismembered corpse of a woman - believed to be a Filipino domestic worker murdered by her sponsors - Duterte made an emotional plea to his countrymen in Kuwait to return home.
"I want them out of the country, those who want to go out, in 72 hours. We will count our lives by the hours because apparently every hour there is suffering and agony."
He said the country's airlines will fly Filipinos home free-of-charge if they can't afford a ticket.
Duterte then went on to scold the rulers of the Gulf state where some 250,000 Filipinos are based.
"I implore you, I am making a plea to all Arabs, the Filipino is no slave to anyone, anywhere and everywhere," the president scolded.
"Do not give us back a battered worker or a mutilated corpse."
Duterte's announcement comes after weeks of tensions between the two states.
He has been angered by stories of Filipinos in Kuwait
being driven to suicide due to abuse.
Manila announced that it would suspend
the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait, while Duterte threatened "drastic measures" if further cases of abuse were reported.
Kuwait police discovered the body of a house helper - believed to be a Filipino - on Thursday in an apartment's deep freeze.
The former occupants were a Lebanese man and Syrian woman who fled the country in 2016.