Repatriation of Filipinos in Afghanistan in full swing, DFA assures


THE REPATRIATION of 130 Filipinos working in Afghanistan is in full swing, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said, with 32 already flown out to Doha and 19 set to leave as of Monday morning.

The other 79 are in contact with the Philippine Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, DFA said in an advisory Monday after the declaration of a high alert warning for Afghanistan “due to the uncertain security situation in the country” following the Taliban’s takeover of government.

“The Department and its Foreign Service Posts in the region and beyond are exploring all avenues of cooperation and are closely coordinating with governments and international partners to guarantee their immediate and safe passage,” it said.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro F. Locsin said in a tweet that after the repatriation mission is completed, Philippine authorities will have to focus on preventing the trafficking of Filipinos to Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

“We’re already out of there,” Mr. Locsin said. “When the last Filipino is out; we’re shutting down that aspect as well. Now the job is to prevent Filipino trafficking to that place.”

The country’s top diplomat also expressed support to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Manuel O. Guterres, who said on Twitter that “the conflict in Afghanistan is forcing hundreds of thousands to flee amid reports of serious human rights violations. All abuses must stop. International humanitarian law and human rights, especially the hard-won gains of women and girls, must be preserved.”

“Philippines joins your appeal,” Mr. Locsin said. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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