Freed Filipino peacekeepers undergo debriefing-A A +A
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
MANILA -- The 21 Filipino peacekeepers, captured and released four days later by Syrian rebels while conducting a logistic run, is now undergoing debriefing back at the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) headquarters in Camp Faouar, Golan Heights, Syria.
Col. Arnulfo M. Burgos, Jr., AFP spokesperson, said the Filipino forces arrived at UNDOF headquarters late Monday night (Syrian time).
After the said process, the Filipinos will subjected to an intensive medical and psychological examinations to determine whether they suffered any trauma during their four-day captivity.
"Their post commander (Major Gen. I. S. Singha) is also present conducting the brief," Burgos said.
The debriefing process was done aside from the earlier medical and psychological test conducted while the military men were in Amman, Jordan.
The AFP spokesperson earlier said all of the 21 Filipinos expressed their intention to complete their tour of duty in the Golan Heights, Syria.
But should the UNDOF decide on the repatriation of the 21, Burgos said the AFP has ample men to replace the latter.
"We have more than sufficient trained men to replace them should they be repatriated back," the AFP spokesperson said.
The 21 Filipino peacekeepers were held by Syrian rebels last March 6 while on a logistic run at the Golan Heights, an area marked by intense fighting by Israeli and Syrian forces in 1974.
They were released to Jordanian immigration authorities last Saturday.
Since then, the UNDOF has been in the area to maintain a ceasefire as mandated by UN Security Council resolution 350.
As a member of the UN, the Philippines has about 300 peacekeepers to support the implementation of this resolution.
Burgos said that there are more than 600 Filipino UN peacekeepers and military observers deployed in nine mission areas all over the world.
“Our peacekeepers are our country’s contribution to world peace and testimony that the Filipino soldier is world class,” he said. (PNA/Sunnex)