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Tue 31 Dec 2019 10:00 AM

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'I really want to kill' recruiters who sell Filipino workers as slaves in the Middle East - Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte's views come as another Filipina maid was beaten to death in Kuwait

'I really want to kill' recruiters who sell Filipino workers as slaves in the Middle East - Duterte

Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte. Image: AFP/Getty Images

Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte has said he would like “to kill” illegal recruiters who lure workers to the Middle East and end up as slaves.

“I really want to kill [these illegal] recruiters who seize every problem to convince people to go to the Middle East. But when the recruit arrives in the Middle East, the problem develops or they are being sold to questionable Arab families,” Duterte said in a speech Monday at the 60th anniversary of Cor Jesu College, which he attended in the 1960s.

“There are Filipina girls who went there who cannot be accounted for anymore…. They said if you fail to find them, they had been sold to the slave market in Africa. And I just cannot imagine for the life of me to think that a Filipina is being made a slave and being raped every day,” he said, according to a report by the state-backed Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Ambassador summoned

The president’s views comes as it was reported that the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday summoned the Kuwaiti ambassador in Manila to condemn the killing of another Filipina domestic worker in the Gulf state, according to a report by the Kuwait Times.

The report said the body of a deceased Filipina housemaid was brought to Sabah Hospital and contained bruises on various parts of the body. The housemaid’s sponsor admitted to police that his wife had beaten the Filipina until she fainted and died.

In May this year the Manila government said it was considering reinstating a ban on household staff working in Kuwait after the fatal assault of a Filipina maid.

Kuwait and the Philippines in May 2018 signed an agreement to regulate domestic workers, after a dispute between the two countries led to a ban on Filipino workers in the Gulf state.

In February 2018, President Duterte imposed a partial ban on workers travelling to Kuwait after a Filipina maid was murdered and her body found in a freezer.