The repatriation of over a hundred Filipinos in Myanmar is a testament that the Philippine government is committed to its promise to assist any distressed nationals abroad.
“It is a testament that I will not leave my people to be hostages to chance or, to use the elegant word, fortune. See Pocock, the Machiavellian moment required reading by Unger in Harvard,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. said in a tweet on Tuesday.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday repatriated some 139 Filipinos amid the current Covid-19 travel restrictions, as well as the political situation in Myanmar.
Locsin welcomed their arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
Among those repatriated were 11 dependent children and four dependent parents, including two senior citizens, of the repatriated Filipinos who worked as professionals in Myanmar and whose contracts were seriously affected by the Covid-19 restrictions in the country.
Since the start of its pandemic-related repatriations in March 2020, the DFA, through its Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA) and the Philippine Embassy in Yangon, has repatriated a total of 509 overseas Filipinos from Myanmar via DFA-chartered flights.
“The Philippine government, especially the DFA, stands ready to bring home any Filipino who wishes to come home during this pandemic. Through the Assistance to Nationals Fund, the Department continues to repatriate our distressed overseas Filipinos wherever they may be,” DFA Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said in a separate statement.
The latest flight was the second one chartered by the DFA from Yangon, while 12 other special flights were facilitated by the DFA in collaboration with airline companies.
It also came days after the military junta seized power and arrested several of the country’s democratically-elected leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, which have since prompted mass protests demanding the release of those detained. (PNA)