By Genalyn D. Kabiling
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has warned Kuwait of possible “karma” for the abuses endured by some Filipino workers in the Gulf state.
The President said he hopes there would be no repeat of maltreatment of workers in Kuwait, as he said that he was already looking for alternative employment destinations for the displaced workers, such as China.
“Alam mo Kuwait ang mundo umiikot. Minsan ‘yan mabilis ‘yan masyado minsan mag-abot ‘yan ng tinatawag na karma [You know Kuwait, the world revolves – sometimes it is too fast and sometimes karma will reach you]. When that time comes, you will remember us,” the President said during the arrival of repatriated workers from Kuwait at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“Pero ngayon ako Presidente, sabihin ko sa lahat never never do it again. Kung hindi, wala na kayong makuha, (But now that I’m President, I’m telling you never never do it again. If not, you won’t get anything from us),” he said.
The President reminded Kuwait that the country sent it assistance, including soldiers and health workers, at the height of the Gulf war in the 1990s. He asked Kuwait what the country did wrong to suffer such maltreatment of its people who have come to the Middle East country as workers.
“Is this the way you repay us?” Duterte asked. “Anong nagawa ng Pilipinas sa inyo? Nagsisisilbi tapos inaabuso ninyo, pinagsasampal ninyo (What has the Philippines done to you. They serve you then you abuse them, slap them across the face).”
The President earlier ordered a deployment ban to Kuwait following reports of brutal deaths and other abuses of Filipino workers. He has also offered assistance to Filipinos wanting to leave Kuwait.
On Tuesday, more than 100 Filipino workers returned home from Kuwait.
Duterte has promised to provide assistance to the displaced workers. He said the government would “ensure that every Filipino is treated with decency.”
Duterte also said China has opened its doors to Filipino workers, particular English teachers. He said he plans to visit China soon to further discuss the matter.