The Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday vowed to provide legal assistance to a Filipino taxi driver in Kuwait who was arrested for helping fellow overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to escape their abusive employers
Chargé d’Affaires Mohammad Noordin Lomondot said the department is already looking into the case.
A radio report on Thursday said the taxi driver, identified as Jelamar Fuentes, is facing charges for violating the law of Kuwait when he extended help to Filipino domestic workers who were allegedly being maltreated by their Kuwaiti employers.
“We will provide the legal assistance for him,” Lomondot said.
Initial reports showed Fuentes used his Facebook account, “Dave,” to get in touch with other Filipino workers. In one of the chat messages, an OFW asked Fuentes to pick her up and help her escape.
The OFW gave her address to Fuentes and promised to pay him for helping her.
Fuentes, who is now under the custody of the Office of the Domestic Welfare Affairs of Kuwait, believes that he did not do anything wrong as he just helped his fellow workers abroad.
“I am not afraid,” Fuentes said in an interview.
“I have done nothing wrong and illegal, and there is also nothing wrong in helping my countrymen.”
In April this year, a controversial video of the rescue of OFW by Philippine Embassy staff from their Kuwaiti employers circulated in social media caught the ire of the Kuwaiti government, which viewed the act as a violation of its sovereignty and “inappropriate behavior.”
The Kuwaiti authorities arrested two Filipinos following the incident but freed them later.