By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Appeals for the resignation of the Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano are “wrong” and baseless, Sen. Ralph Recto said.
Cayetano found an ally in Recto, who today said there was “no basis” to call for the former to step down from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“Why should Alan resign? His men rescued two Filipinas in distress. He didn’t bomb a country, nor did he invade another,” Recto said in a statement.
“It is wrong to call for his resignation. It undercuts our current posture of being more assertive in helping our OFWs,” he added.
The Senate President Pro-Tempore said that while “it was improper to officially upload the video, it is equally wrong to equate it as a major diplomatic faux pas that would warrant his resignation.”
Recto, backing Cayetano and the DFA’s rescue operations, underscored the need for diplomats’ aggressiveness especially when overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are in need of help from abuse.
“There are times when he (Cayetano) and his men have to kick down some doors, especially if these block the path to freedom for our compatriots,” he said.
“Aggressive defense of our abused countrymen is no vice; it is a virtue. When thousands of our OFWs await repatriation, when thousands of them have sought sanctuaries from abuse, when almost 5,000 of them are behind bars or facing charges, some audacity in representing them is needed,” he added.
“There are times when diplomats pretend to be doormats. There are times when they have to be matadors,” Recto said.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque already said Cayetano still has the “full trust and confidence” of President Duterte.
Calls for Cayetano resignation mounted in the wake of the diplomatic mess with Kuwait, after the Philippine embassy conducted rescue of distressed OFWs in the Gulf state.
A video of the said operation was uploaded in social media, angering the Kuwaiti government and prompting the recall of its envoy, and declaration of Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa a persona non-grata in their country.