MANILA (Manila Times) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is not keen on ordering the repatriation of Filipinos from Kuwait, despite the killing of Filipino domestic worker Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende.
In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN aired on Friday night, Duterte said he was satisfied with the Kuwaiti government’s “swift” response to Villavende’s case.
“You know, the situation is quite different. We do not see apathy there and the police authorities of Kuwait acted swiftly. And they have arrested the spouses,” Duterte said.
“I saw that there were arrests made and there’s an investigation going on.
And apparently, justice is being done. I’m not really keen on moving people out,” he added.
Villavende was allegedly killed by her employees in Kuwait last month after reportedly enduring maltreatment, and her employers have reportedly been detained.
Her death came even after the Philippines and Kuwait signed a labour pact that sought to protect and promote the welfare of Filipino workers there.
Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo had said Duterte was “outraged” by Villavende’s death.
Last week, Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd announced that the Kuwaiti employers of Villavende have been arrested and would soon be charged.
In 2018, the Philippines and Kuwait signed a memorandum of agreement on the protection of Filipinos in the Arab country, following the series of cases of abuse and death of Filipino workers, including Joana Demafelis whose body was found stored in her employer’s freezer.
The murder of Demafelis had prompted the Duterte government to temporarily prohibit Filipinos from seeking jobs in Kuwait and launch a repatriation programme for Filipino workers who wanted to come home.