- Bello denied he had a ‘shouting match’ with Cayetano over the Kuwait mess
- The Labor secretary said he merely asked Cayetano
- Cayetano likewise denied the incident, saying the President will not allow it
MANILA, Philippines – Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has denied that he and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano were engaged in a shouting match over the controversial rescue of migrant workers in Kuwait which has since spurred diplomatic tension between the two countries.
“That’s fake news. One, we didn’t have a meeting in Malacañang. And two, how could we shout at each other?” said Bello during the turnover of funds to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu on Tuesday.
It was Philippine Star which first reported the incident that allegedly happened last week inside Malacañang Palace just before President Rodrigo Duterte left for Singapore.
The two officials purportedly had a heated argument on which of them should be blamed for the Kuwait mess which resulted in the expulsion of Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa and the involvement of three other embassy staff.
But Bello said he merely asked Cayetano, and there was no ‘shouting’ that transpired between them.
Cayetano likewise denied the incident; saying it could not have happened since Bello is known to be an ‘even-tempered’ man.
“Also, the President will not allow me to yell at someone who is more senior than me,” the Foreign Affairs Secretary added.
Bello, who was seated beside Cayetano at the Labor Day event, said there is nothing to fight about because he supports the latter’s decision.
“The decision to rescue OFWs in Kuwait was right. There is no need for permission, because it needs immediate action,” he stressed.