Pinoys in Syria urged anew to seek repatriation-A A +A
Monday, September 2, 2013
WITH a military attack on Syria just an approval from United States Congress away, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is stepping up its call for Filipinos in the war-torn state to immediately seek repatriation.
In a phone interview, DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez said they are appealing to Filipinos still in Syria to avail the mandatory repatriation efforts and not take the risk of staying on further.
"We have been urging our people in Syria to get in touch with our Embassy people and avail of our mandatory repatriation. This is part of our contingency plan in Syria to keep our Filipino nationals out of harm’s way," said Hernandez.
Hernandez said they will continuously exert efforts to repatriate all Filipinos in Syria "without let up" until all of them have been safely secured.
"Our priority is to bring our people in Syria out of harm's way… Our efforts will continue without let up," assured Hernandez.
Since starting the mandatory repatriation efforts in Syria back in March 2011, the government has already repatriated a total of 4,553 Filipinos.
Asked whether they would consider forcibly extracting Filipinos in Syria if they refuse to heed DFA calls, the official did not answer directly.
"We are now under a mandatory repatriation program. We appeal to our people to respond accordingly for their own safety," said Hernandez.
Over the past few days, US President Barack Obama has pushed for military strikes in Syria and is just waiting for an approval from Congress.
The military strike proposal was spurred by an alleged sarin gas attack used by forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that resulted to the death of some 1,400 people. (HDT/Sunnex)