DFA: PH will not apologize for alleged violations cited by Kuwait

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — The Philippines will not apologize for its alleged violations that led to the Kuwaiti government's order suspending the issuance of new entry visas to Filipinos, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday. 

“The Philippine government’s position, President [Ferdinand] Marcos’ [Jr.] position is that we cannot apologize for protecting our workers. We cannot hold our own people accountable for doing their job which is to protect our overseas nationals,” DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega told CNN Philippines' The Source.

The Kuwait Interior Ministry revealed last week some of the reasons behind the visa suspension order for the Philippines, like housing workers in shelters, searching for runaways without involving state institutions, and inappropriately dealing with Kuwaiti citizens.

While Kuwait wants Manila to formally admit such actions and apologize, De Vega maintained that the Philippines cannot do so since its actions were only to ensure the welfare of overseas Filipino workers.

Asked what will be the Philippine government’s next step, De Vega said “among friends, we can agree to disagree and then keep trying to find the middle ground.”

He said the Philippines already indicated the willingness of the country’s embassy there to work with Kuwaiti officials to ensure that no violations will be repeated.

For now, the Philippines will wait until “cooler heads prevail” and there is an opportunity for both parties to discuss the matter, De Vega said.

DFA hopes to again talk with Kuwaiti officials by July, he noted.

De Vega earlier said that more dialogues between the two nations are needed. This was after officials from Kuwait insisted during a meeting mid-May that the Philippine government has violated their law.