Duterte to announce next step on PH-Kuwait row Sunday

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MANILA, Philippines  — President Rodrigo R. Duterte is expected to make a “personally crafted” announcement on the country’s next step to resolve its conflict with Kuwait on Sunday, his spokesperson has said.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, speaking at the sidelines of the 32nd ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Singapore on Friday, said Duterte will announce the Philippine position during his arrival statement in Davao on Sunday.

“He wants to announce it in Philippine soil,” he said.

Roque said Duterte’s announcement was not recommended by any of his advisers or Cabinet officials since it was one that he “personally crafted”.

Earlier this week, Roque said the Philippines and Kuwait may possibly sign the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the protection of overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf state after this year’s Ramadan in June.

However, Roque said that at present, he could only “surmise” the MOU’s fate.

“I do not know, everything is up in the air now with recent developments Kuwaiti ambassador (Musaed Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh) being recalled and (the) Philippine ambassador (Renato Villa) being declared persona non-grata,” Roque said.

“I have to say that the President, being a lawyer with 30 years of executive experience, certainly had a very different reaction to the controversy. It was a course of action that was not specifically recommended by anyone,” Roque said.

“He made up his mind and I appreciate it. It shows really his experience in governance and there’s wisdom,” he added.

Kuwaiti government was angered by action taken by staff of the Philippine embassy for conducting rescue operations early this week without coordinating with its government. -PNA

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