Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Saturday, May 5, lambasted Vice President Leni Robredo for her alleged “double standard” remarks over the recent diplomatic row between the Philippines and Kuwait.
“I’d like to assure Vice President Robredo that we are accountable: We’re accountable to the President, we’re accountable to the people, we’re accountable to God,” Secretary Cayetano said.
“Hindi puwedeng may double-standard (You can’t have double-standards),” Cayetano said citing Robredo’s criticism against the administration saying that the Philippines violated the sovereignty of Kuwait during the controversial “emergency” rescue mission of overseas Filipino workers. The video of the rescue was made public which angered Kuwait leading to expulsion of Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa and recall of Kuwait envoy from Manila.
“Hindi ba iyong mga foreigner na nagra-rally dito, naba-violate iyong sovereignty natin kasi bawal iyon. Bakit sabi nila puwede? Tapos tayo ‘pag magre-rescue, pipintasan nila sarili nilang gobyerno na breaking sovereignty?” he argued.
(Don’t the foreigners who join rallies also violate our sovereignty because it is against the law? How come its okay if they do it but when we carry out a rescue operation they criticize their own government of breaking sovereignty?)
Cayetano also recalled Robredo’s recorded message criticizing the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs which the vice president sent to the United Nations.
“Kapag tayo ang nag-video, (hindi tama)…Pero bakit siya, si Vice President Leni, nagpadala ng video sa UN na fake news na paninira sa sariling bansa?
(If we take the video, (it’s not right)…But what about Vice President Leni? She sent UN a video of fake news that undermined her own country.)
In her statement released May 3, Robredo said the opposition is “gravely concerned” over “the deliberate release in both media and social media of videos of “rescue missions” undertaken by DFA personnel in the Kuwait” which she said “could further jeopardize our workers in that country.”
“Decisive steps must be taken at the soonest time to rectify this situation, and prevent further harm from being inflicted on our OFWs. These must start with an honest and candid acknowledgement of the crisis, a willingness to accept accountability and a conviction to do what is right,” she added in the statement.
Cayetano admitted that what happened “caused misunderstanding, but what we did is our obligation and duty to our OFWs.” He asked critics of the administration to allow negotiations in order to repair the damaged relations between the two countries. – Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
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