DOJ still awaiting asylum petitions of Afghan refugees
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday said the Department of Justice (DOJ) had yet to receive any application for refugee status from Afghan nationals who had fled their country after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan.
“Right now, we have admitted only a handful [of Afghans]. But they are here only for temporary shelter until they are permanently resettled elsewhere,” Guevarra said in a Viber message.
“[Since] the Afghan nationals who are here are slated for resettlement in another country … they need not apply for refugee status in the Philippines,” he said.
Guevarra issued the clarification after President Duterte told world leaders during the 76th UN General Assembly that the Philippines was willing to provide asylum for Afghans who were escaping persecution by the Taliban. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier confirmed that a group of Afghans, including women and children, arrived in the country two weeks ago.