Duterte names Abdullah Mamao as special envoy to Kuwait

Paterno Esmaquel II
Duterte names Abdullah Mamao as special envoy to Kuwait
Newly appointed Special Envoy to Kuwait Abdullah Mamao, a San Beda law graduate, is the presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte named his adviser, Abdullah Mamao, as special envoy to Kuwait, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced on Tuesday, May 8.

Mamao is the presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who has flown to the Middle East for special assignments in the past. Like Duterte, he is a 1972 law graduate of San Beda College. 

‘Yan po ang naging desisyon kahapon ni Presidente – italaga si Secretary Mamao bilang special envoy to Kuwait 

(That was the decision of the President yesterday – to appoint Secretary Mamao as special envoy to Kuwait),” Roque said in a dzMM interview Tuesday morning. 

Roque said Mamao, who just came from Kuwait, will return to the Middle Eastern country as soon as possible. Duterte asked him to stay there until the Philippines has repatriated all those needing repatriation.

Mamao recently flew to Kuwait to meet with Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah on May 1, the Kuwait News Agency reported. 

The two officials discussed the labor row between the Philippines and Kuwait.

In February 2017, Mamao also went to Saudi Arabia “for a series of bilateral talks” on boosting economic ties, said Arab News.  

Mamao is returning to Kuwait after the Kuwaiti government expelled Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa over the alleged illegal rescues of OFWs there.  

The OFW rescues, which the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs publicized through social media videos, triggered a diplomatic crisis, with the welfare of 262,000 OFWs at stake. (READ: Cayetano denies Kuwait OFW video was for politicking) – Rappler.com

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.