Manila ‘recalls’ envoy to Kuwait

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 8, (Agencies): The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has issued an order on Thursday to recall Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Shulan Primavera to Manila after a runaway maid who worked at his household for eight months appeared on TV Patrol, a primetime news programme of ABS-CBN in Manila on Wednesday, accusing him of sexually molesting her. The maid named Mabel who is now under the custody of the Blas Ople Foundation clarified that although she was not raped, the Ambassador allegedly touched some sensitive parts of her body and had shown to her some acts of lasciviousness. She claimed that this happened when his partner went home for vacation to the Philippines.

Primavera who was fuming mad, earlier denied all the allegations on TV and pointed that these were all lies. He cited that his predecessor had a hand in this machination. He added that it is purely and obviously a demolition job against him by his predecessor.

Susan Ople of the Blas Ople Foundation, an advocate of Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFWs) rights pointed out that taking runaway maids from the Filipino Workers Resource Centre to work for the Ambassador’s residence is totally wrong. She stressed that due process should be followed and there should be a contract duly signed by the Labour Attache and there should be no exemption.

Mabel claimed that she was only receiving a monthly salary of $200 which is just half of the $400 salary for Filipino Household Service Workers as mandated in the Philippines standard employment contract. Ople cited on TV Patrol that how can the government implement the law if people at the embassy do not follow the law themselves. She lamented that where will the OFWs turn to now.

On his part, Primavera explained via phone patch on TV that he was just trying to help the wards while they are waiting for their repatriation by working in his household instead of wasting their time in the Filipino Workers Resource Centre. Primavera furnished TV Patrol a copy of an affidavit signed by Mabel stating that she was treated well by the Ambassador and received a KD 100 monthly salary. But Mabel vehemently denied signing the said affidavit and reiterated that she only received KD 60 monthly salary.
With the help of the Ople Blas Foundation, Mabel already filed a formal complaint before the Department of Foreign Affairs. The DFA then forwarded a recommendation for investigation to the Office of the President in Malacanang.

In line with this, the DFA asked Primavera to go home immediately to personally answer the accusations hurled against him by his former housemaid. Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis also disclosed on TV Patrol that Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario has already formed a panel to investigate Primavera.

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