Philippines

PH-Kuwait row not enough basis for Cayetano resignation: Recto

PH-Kuwait row not enough basis for Cayetano resignation: Recto
By Jose Cielito Reganit

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — The controversies wrought by the ‘rescue’ of distressed Filipino workers in Kuwait and the diplomatic fallout that ensued are not enough basis to call for the resignation of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said Thursday.

“Why should Alan resign? His men rescued two Filipinas in distress. He didn’t bomb a country, nor did he invade another,” Recto said in a statement.

“Yes, it was improper to officially upload the video, but it is equally wrong to equate it as a major diplomatic faux pas that would warrant his resignation,” he added.

On the contrary, asking Cayetano to resign undercuts the Philippines’ current posture of “being more assertive” in helping overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the lawmaker said.

“Aggressive defense of our abused countrymen is no vice; it is a virtue. When thousands of our OFWS await repatriation, when thousands of them have sought sanctuaries from abuse, when almost 5,000 of them are behind bars or facing charges, some audacity in representing them is needed,” he said.

“At a time when countries use might to enforce their will, the worst that the rescue inflicted was a pinprick on diplomatic niceties,” Recto said.

Recto statements were issued in reaction to reports alleging that career diplomats wrote a letter to President Rodrigo R. Duterte asking for Cayetano’s removal as DFA chief.

The letter supposedly cited Cayetano’s “amateurism” and “gross incompetence” in handling the country’s ongoing issues with Kuwait as reasons for calling for his resignation.

The DFA refuted the report Wednesday, saying that there was no such letter received by the Office of the President.

“The alleged clamor by career officials for the Secretary to resign as contained in the supposed letter came from some who do not represent the views of the entire career Foreign Service Corps,” the DFA said. (PNA)

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