Quantcast

Kuwait calms Philippines after dead worker found in freezer

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Jon Gambrell). Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Khalid Al Sabah walks toward a news conference in Kuwait City, Kuwait, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. Members of the U.S.-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State group met Tuesday at Kuwait's Ba... (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell). Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Khalid Al Sabah walks toward a news conference in Kuwait City, Kuwait, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. Members of the U.S.-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State group met Tuesday at Kuwait's Ba...
  • NationalMore>>

  • Florida governor: Ban gun sales to underage and mentally ill

    Florida governor: Ban gun sales to underage and mentally ill

    Friday, February 23 2018 1:36 PM EST2018-02-23 18:36:33 GMT
    (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Mourners attend the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis. at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 22. 2018. Football p...(Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Mourners attend the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis. at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 22. 2018. Football p...
    'Abject breakdown on all levels': Florida high school where ex-student accused of fatally shooting 17 people reopening to teachers Friday amid revelations an armed officer on campus did nothing to stop suspect,...Full Story
    'Abject breakdown on all levels': Florida high school where ex-student accused of fatally shooting 17 people reopening to teachers Friday amid revelations an armed officer on campus did nothing to stop suspect, other issues.Full Story
  • AP-NORC Poll: Most have grim outlook on America's direction

    AP-NORC Poll: Most have grim outlook on America's direction

    Friday, February 23 2018 1:35 PM EST2018-02-23 18:35:59 GMT
    Most Americans say things are bad in the U.S., but feel good about the economy.Full Story
    Most Americans say things are bad in the U.S., but feel good about the economy.Full Story
  • AP Explains: Graham's rare honor at US Capitol

    AP Explains: Graham's rare honor at US Capitol

    Friday, February 23 2018 1:35 PM EST2018-02-23 18:35:53 GMT
    (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek). People view and photograph the hearse carrying the remains of Rev. Billy Graham arrives at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove on Thursday, February 22, 2018 in Asheville, NC.(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek). People view and photograph the hearse carrying the remains of Rev. Billy Graham arrives at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove on Thursday, February 22, 2018 in Asheville, NC.
    Congress is reserving one of the nation's greatest distinctions for the Rev. Billy Graham, selecting him to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.Full Story
    Congress is reserving one of the nation's greatest distinctions for the Rev. Billy Graham, selecting him to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.Full Story

By JON GAMBRELL
Associated Press

KUWAIT CITY (AP) - Kuwait's foreign minister tried to calm anger in the Philippines on Tuesday after a Filipina worker was found dead in a freezer, hoping to defuse an ordered "total ban" on workers coming to the small, oil-rich nation.

It's the latest case to draw the anger of populist Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who in January complained that cases of abuse reported by Filipina domestic workers "always" seem to be coming from Kuwait.

There have been prominent cases of abuse in the past, including an incident in December 2014 where a Kuwaiti's pet lions fatally mauled a Filipina maid.

But what pushed the Philippines over the edge appears to the killing of a domestic worker whose body was left in a freezer in a Kuwait City apartment reportedly abandoned since November 2016.

On Monday, the Philippines' Department of Labor and Employment issued an order calling for "a total ban on deployment of all overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait." It's unclear how widely the order is being enforced as many Filipinos are still working across industries in Kuwait.

Speaking to journalists Tuesday, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Khalid Al Sabah said "this escalation will not benefit the relationship between Kuwait and the Philippines." He also said Kuwait warmly welcomed Filipino workers.

"We have 170,000 Filipino nationals living a decent life here," the minister said. "They have one of the least number of problems out of all expatriate communities. Isolated incidents unfortunately happen. We share all of our findings and investigations with the Philippine authorities."

His comments also came as the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group announced the Philippines had joined it.

The Philippines' ambassador to Kuwait, Renato Villa, told The Associated Press on Tuesday he welcomed the Kuwaiti foreign minister's comments.

Kuwait has declared an amnesty for Filipino workers who overstayed their visas and are working to help some 500 workers stuck in the country after a company refused to pay their salaries, Villa said. Kuwaiti police also are offering details on Filipino killings to his diplomats.

Villa offered a much higher number of Filipino workers in Kuwait - 250,000 - and said 65 percent were domestic workers.

"They are the most vulnerable, the domestic workers," he said.

___

Associated Press writer Malak Harb contributed to this report.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.