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Bello denies reported 'shouting match' with Cayetano
Citing anonymous sources, The STAR on Tuesday reported the two high-ranking officials “shouted at each other” and argued on “who was to blame for the Kuwait fiasco.”
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Bello denies reported 'shouting match' with Cayetano

Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - May 1, 2018 - 10:51am

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Tuesday denied reports he engaged in a “shouting match” with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, amid a diplomatic row between the Philippines and Kuwait triggered by reported abuse of Filipino domestic workers.

Citing anonymous sources, The STAR on Tuesday reported the two high-ranking officials “shouted at each other” and argued on “who was to blame for the Kuwait fiasco.”

In response, Bello said during an event in Cebu that he backs the actions taken by the DFA in assisting distressed Filipino workers.

“I supported the position of DFA [Secretary] Alan. In fact, my statement was that if I were in the shoes of Secretary Alan, I would have done the same thing,” said the country’s Labor chief, who was seated beside Cayetano during the event.

“Their decision to rescue abused Filipinos in Kuwait was right. No need to ask for permission,” he added.

The STAR report came after Kuwait last week declared Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa a persona non-grata and ordered him to leave within a week after embassy staff attempted to help abused Filipino workers in the Gulf nation flee from their Kuwaiti employers.

The rescue operation was captured on a video, which was released to the media by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs on April 19.

The expulsion of Villa was the latest episode in a three-month dispute that effectively derailed negotiations for a labor agreement that would provide greater protection for Filipino expats in Kuwait.

Villa had reportedly said the embassy decided to help maltreated Filipinos should Kuwaiti authorities fail to respond within 24 hours. He made a public apology on Tuesday.

In February, President Rodrigo Duterte repeatedly lashed out at Kuwait and barred Filipinos from seeking job in the oil-rich Arab nation after a Filipina worker was found dead inside a freezer in an abandoned home.

The World Bank early this week reported that the Philippines is the third largest remittance receiving nation in the world in 2017, helping drive the increase in domestic spending which, in turn, fuel overall economic growth.

ALAN PETER CAYETANO KUWAIT PHILIPPINES SILVESTRE BELLO III
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