Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said on Tuesday, May 1, that Kuwait’s call for calm will fuel the Philippines to move forward in repairing its strained labor relations with the Gulf state.
“This gesture on the part of Kuwait, a country with which we have a shared history and strong people-to-people ties, will allow us to move forward and hurdle the challenges we face,” Cayetano said in a statement.
“This is a shared goal that should be pursued with willingness to understand and respect where each side is coming from,” he said.
Cayetano also expressed confidence that the Philippines and Kuwait “will withstand this misunderstanding”.
Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nasser al-Subaih on Monday said that the Gulf state does not want the conflict with the Philippines to escalate despite taking a “serious stance” on the diplomatic row.
Meanwhile, Cayetano dismissed reports that he had engaged in a shouting match with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
The report, published by The Philippine Star on April 30, stated that Cayetano and Bello yelled at each other in Malacañang after Kuwait expelled Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa from the Gulf state.
“Nagtatanong lang ako sa kanya. Hindi nagsigawan,” Cayetano said.
“Sobrang fake news naman ‘yan. One, we didn’t have a meeting in Malacañang. And two, how could we shout at each other?” Bello told reporters during the turnover of funds for an outreach program here.
Earlier, two videos of rescue operations of the RRT, which operates under the DFA, surfaced on the internet. The video showed OFWs escaping the homes of their employers with the help of members of the RRT.
Kuwait then moved for the expulsion of Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa, declaring him persona non-grata.