AMID THE diplomatic row between the Philippines and Kuwait, President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Abdulla Mamao as special envoy to the Gulf nation, Malacañang announced Tuesday, May 8.
"The President appointed Mamao as special envoy to Kuwait," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a radio interview.
Mamao, a Muslim classmate of Duterte at San Beda College of Law, is tasked to help Filipino workers in Kuwait who want to return home.
"The President's order was Secretary Mamao would immediately go to Kuwait. He will stay there until all those who have to return will be able to go home," Roque said.
Mamao is also the presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Kuwait are strained because of the Philippine embassy's rescue mission that had irked the Kuwaiti government for supposed violation of its sovereignty and laws.
Kuwait expelled Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa, detained four Philippine embassy personnel, and ordered arrest of three Filipino diplomats.
In response, Duterte asked all the 260,000 OFWs to exercise their "sense of patriotism" and come home, as he assured that there are enough job opportunities awaiting them. (SunStar Philippines)