Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro Villa speaks at a press conference on April 21 (Source: AFP)

Hanoi (VNA) – Diplomatic tensions related to worker abuses between the Philippines and Kuwait continue escalating with the Southeast Asian nation showing its dissatisfaction with Kuwait’s expulsion of the Filipino Ambassador on April 25.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on April 26 sent a diplomatic note to the Embassy of Kuwait conveying its strong surprise and great displeasures over the declaration of Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa as persona non grata, the continued detention of four Filipinos hired by the Philippine Embassy, and the issuance of arrest warrants against three diplomatic personnel.

These acts are inconsistent with the assurances and representations made by the Kuwaiti Ambassador on the various concerns that were brought to his attention by Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter S. Cayetano during their meeting in Manila on April 24, said the DFA.

Tensions between the two countries have lasted for three months, starting from information that several Philippine workers had been abused to death by Kuwaiti employers.

The two countries then coordinated to make an agreement to protect labourers working abroad after the Philippines banned their labourers from going to Kuwait for work.

However, on April 25, Kuwait requested the Philippine Ambassador to leave the country for a week, and recalled its Ambassador for consultations after the Philippine Embassy conducted rescue operation of mostly distraught Philippine maids who allegedly experienced cruelty in the hands of their Kuwaiti employers.

According to the DFA, domestic maids account for over 65 percent out of the 260,000 Philippine workers in Kuwait.

In February, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a ban on the sending of new workers to Kuwait in the wake of numerous complaints that Philippine workers there are severely abused and maltreated.-VNA