Americans in PH told to keep low profile
MANILA, Philippines — The US Embassy in Manila on Tuesday raised the security alert for American citizens in the Philippines due to rising tensions between the United States and Iran.
In a Jan. 7 advisory posted on its website, the embassy advised Americans to keep a low profile and update their personal security plans.
“There is heightened tension in the Middle East that may result in security risks to US citizens abroad,”it said.
The embassy also advised US citizens to stay alert in tourist sites and keep their travel documents in easy access.
Hostilities threatened to break out in Iraq after US President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike that killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and several others in Baghdad last week.
As Iran vowed to retaliate and Trump threatened to hit Iran’s cultural sites in case of an attack on US citizens, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised alert level 3 in Iraq, except in the Kurdistan region. Alert level 3 calls for voluntary repatriation.
There are 1,640 Filipino workers in Iraq, including 450 undocumented mostly household workers, according to the DFA.
Labor recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani, however, claimed the number of Filipinos in Iraq was “more than 3,000,”with around a thousand undocumented workers who had managed to slip into Iraq despite the Philippine ban on the deployment of newly hired workers and domestic helpers since 2014.—Dona Z. Pazzibugan
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