DAVAO CITY: President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he wanted overseas Filipino workers (OFW) out of Kuwait in 72 hours, stressing that Filipinos are “no slave to anyone.”
He made the statement following reports of the gruesome death of a Filipina maid in Kuwait.
In a news conference at Matina Enclaves, Duterte said he could not stomach the persistent abuses against Filipino migrant workers in Kuwait.
“So everyone who wants to come home, I said to (Labor) Secretary Bello, those who want to be repatriated, with or without money, I will ask PAL and Cebu Pacific to provide the transportation,” Duterte said.
“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 a suffering and agony, brutality committed by Filipinos,” he added.
The President reiterated his appeal to the Kuwaiti government to stop the “inhumane” treatment of OFWs as he insisted that the ban on the deployment of Filipinos would continue.
“When will this inhumane treatment of our Filipino workers end? When will the upliftment of the human dignity begin? To the Kuwaiti government and all others who are OFWs work(ers), we seek and expect your assistance in this regard,” Duterte said.
“We do not seek special treatment or privileges for our workers but we do expect respect for their dignity and basic human rights. Keep them free from harm. I implore you. I ask all Arab people, the Filipino is no slave to anyone, anywhere,” he added.
Duterte issued the statement after authorities confirmed that the body of a Filipino was found in an apartment in the Al Shaab area, where it may have been kept for over a year.
The President identified the victim as Joanna Daniela Dimapilis, based on a DNA test.
Duterte said that he was ready to take “drastic steps” to help preserve the OFWs’ safety and security in foreign countries.