Published: Monday 23 April, 2018

Two Filipinos Who Rescued Distressed OFWs Arrested by Kuwaiti Officials

A day after Kuwait summoned Philippine embassy officials over the ‘assisted’ escape of OFWs from their employers, two Filipinos were arrested for their roles in the escape. According to the Associated Press, the two Pinoys were arrested for convincing domestic workers to escape from their employers.

OFW rescue Kuwait

One of the OFW rescue missions documented in the video of the DFA. (Facebook screen grab/ DFA-OUMWA Exec. Dir. Raul Dado and DFA Public Diplomacy Asst. Sec. Elmer G Cato)

The identities of the arrested Pinoys have not been released at this time but it is believed that they were part of the Rapid Rescue team that facilitated the escape of distressed OFWs. Video of their escape has been posted online by DFA, POLO and OWWa officials in Kuwait. (WATCH the video HERE)

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But to say they the Pinoys convinced the OFWs to escape is inaccurate. According reports from the DFA, the OFWs appealed for help from embassy officials as they feared for their safety in the hands of their employers. 

According to news reports, the Rapid Rescue Team of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has rescued at least 26 distressed OFWs since April 7.

It is unknown what charges will, if any, be filed against the arrested Pinoys. Or they may just be deported.

It has a been a tense relationship for Kuwait and the Philippines the past three months. This after the latter issued a total deployment ban on new OFWs to Kuwait following the death of Joanna Demafelis. The OFW was found stuffed inside a freezer inside an abandoned apartment. Investigations showed she had been there for over a year before being discovered by police, who had come to the apartment to serve an eviction order on Demafelis’ employers.

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UPDATE: The two Pinoys arrested were NOT members of the Rapid Rescue Team. In an updated report from Kuwait News Agency, it said the arrested Filipinos were a couple who admitted during interrogation that they encouraged Filipina domestic workers to escape from their employers.