The sources said Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola sent a special Rapid Response Team (RRT) to rescue Filipino workers from abusive Kuwaiti households, in violation of diplomatic norms and infringement on Kuwait’s sovereignty. Arriola is DFA undersecretary for the Office of Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA).
Joven Cagande
‘Ranking DFA exec authorized rescue of distressed OFWs’
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - April 27, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — It was a ranking foreign affairs official who had authorized intensified operations to rescue distressed workers in Kuwait, in disregard of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, sources said.

The sources said Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola sent a special Rapid Response Team (RRT) to rescue Filipino workers from abusive Kuwaiti households, in violation of diplomatic norms and infringement on Kuwait’s sovereignty. Arriola is DFA undersecretary for the Office of Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA).

Arriola even brought to Kuwait DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato, who authorized the uploading of rescue videos.

“It appears Usec Arriola was not aware of the Vienna Conventions. Now, the state visit of the President and signing of Memorandum of Agreement (labor agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait) are in peril,” a source told The STAR yesterday.

“The act was even videotaped and uploaded for circulation in social media, an affront and insult to the host country,” another source said.

The retaliatory action taken by the Kuwaiti government did not end with the expulsion of Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa and declaring him persona non grata, as Kuwait also issued a warrant of arrest and travel ban on DFA OUMWA executive director Raul Dado.

Embassy personnel have seen Dado’s photos at immigration counters at the airport.

Dado was pinpointed by three drivers hired for the rescue mission as the one who supervised the seven teams from the embassy and the DFA that carried out the rescue operations.

“There are four OUMWA staff who are still at chancery and afraid to leave lest they be arrested at the airport. In Kuwait, only those accredited can invoke immunity,” a source said.  

FOREIGN AFFAIRS SARAH LOU ARRIOLA VIENNA CONVENTION
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