Kuwait throws out Philippine ambassador over rescue of abused maids

An embassy employee assists in the rescue of an abused Filipina maid. Screen shot from DFA footage (see below).

Kuwait has ordered the Philippine Ambassador to leave the country amid a row over the ‘rescue’ of abused Filipina maids. 

The Kuwaiti government has given Ambassador Renato Villa just one week to get out, the state-run Kuwait News Agency reported today (Wednesday, April 25).


“Kuwait gives Philippine ambassador one week to leave the country,” the Kuwait News Agency said in a tweet.


The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is yet to issue a statement about the expulsion.


The expulsion comes after Gulf state’s government protested at the Philippine embassy’s rescue of abused domestic workers in the country. Footage of these operations, released by the DFA, went viral across social media this week.

As we reported yesterday, DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano apologised to the government of Kuwait for the embassy’s actions.

“I apologise to my counterpart and we apologise to the Kuwait government, the Kuwaiti people and the leaders of Kuwait if they were offended by some actions taken by the Philippine Embassy,” he said.

He also said the DFA took “responsibility” for what happened after after the Kuwaiti embassy issued two diplomatic protests about the operations.

However, he emphasised that the operations were undertaken as part of “life or death” situations.

“The DFA takes responsibility, I myself have not only assured the president that we’re doing what we can for the overseas Filipino workers but have apologised na nangyari but like the Kuwaitis, the president understands na life or death,” he said.

The treatment of Filipina domestic workers in the Gulf state came under the spotlight after the murder of maid in the country.

The body of 29-year-old Joanna Daniela Demafelis was discovered in a freezer after she had been brutally tortured and murdered by her employers. Nader Essam Assaf and his wife Mona have now been sentenced to death.

Following the grim discovery, President Duterte ordered workers in Kuwait to come home, offering free flights for the 10,000 or so Filipinos who have overstayed visas. He also ordered a ban on the further deployment of workers to the country.