Locsin: PH won’t engage in asylum talks unless on gov’t-to-gov’t basis
MANILA, Philippines — As evacuation efforts continue in Afghanistan, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Tuesday the Philippine government will not engage in asylum talks unless it is on a government-to-government basis.
Locsin affirmed that the Philippines is ready to accept refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control over its capital, but said that the government will not deal with talks with the private sector.
“For asylum seekers and refugees, the Philippines will continue to extend assistance in line with its long tradition of timely and responsive humanitarian action. I cannot say more, the situation is fluid to put it mildly,” Locsin said at the deliberation of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) budget for 2022.
“But let me add this warning, we will not engage in any asylum or giving any asylum, unless it is on a government to government basis. We will not deal with private sector,” he added.
As per the situation of Filipinos in Afghanistan, the DFA earlier reported that some 187 Filipinos have so far been evacuated from the Middle East country.
According to the DFA, the last batch who were repatriated are two Filipinos who are now in the United Kingdom and Doha in Qatar.
Meanwhile, 24 more Filipinos are still in Afghanistan. Of this number, eight have expressed intent to join the government’s repatriation effort.
“All 24 remaining plan to join evacuation efforts, but through different channels and timelines,” the DFA said in a statement on Monday.
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