30 Filipinos repatriated from Haiti amid civil unrest

Robie de Guzman   •   January 16, 2020   •   519

MANILA, Philippines – Thirty Filipinos repatriated from Haiti — which was gripped by “unstable economic and security concerns” — have arrived in the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

In a tweet, the DFA said the group, which included six minors, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 on Thursday.

The Filipinos opted to return home instead of being “adversely affected by the circumstances” in Haiti.

Since the last quarter of 2019, Haiti has been experiencing economic and security woes as a result of ongoing civil unrest.

Dozens have been killed in anti-government mass demonstrations in various cities, including its capital Port-au-Prince.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington, which has jurisdiction over the Caribbean state, facilitated the group’s repatriation.

The Consulate in New York also assisted during their transit.

The embassy assured to provide assistance to remaining Filipinos who wish to move out of Haiti.

DFA announces temporary closure of consular office in Butuan for disinfection

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 30, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has announced the temporary closure of its consular office in Butuan City on September 30 for disinfection.

In an advisory, the DFA said Consular Office in Butuan will conduct disinfection and implementation of other preventive measures to manage risks against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The office will resume operations on October 1.

Affected applicants with confirmed appointments who are unable to avail of consular services due to the suspension of operations must secure another appointment by emailing butuan.rco@dfa.gov.ph with the following information:

– Name
– Date of birth
– Original appointment date and time
– Preferred date and time of new appointment

OFW accused of murder in Saudi Arabia returns home after release – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipina migrant worker who was charged with murder in Saudi Arabia has returned home following her release from prison, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement, the DFA said Rose Policarpio arrived in Manila on Tuesday after spending almost six years in jail for a crime she did not commit.

“Ms. Policarpio’s eventual acquittal is an example of the government’s commitment in protecting and promoting the rights of our OFWs. With her new lease on life, we wish her success in her future endeavors,” DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.

Policarpio, 31 years old, was deployed as a food server in Saudi Arabia in 2013. A few days after her arrival in Riyadh, she was imprisoned for murder after being accused of killing her employer.

She had consistently denied the crime and was eventually found not guilty by the lower court, the verdict of which was sustained by the court of appeals, leading to her eventual release from detention and repatriation.

The DFA said that through its Legal Assistance Fund (LAF), it provided for the services of her legal counsel. The Philippine Embassy also regularly visited her in jail and provided her with welfare assistance.

After securing her release, the DFA settled her incurred immigration penalties and secured her exit visa.

“This is a vindication of Ms. Policarpio and a clear declaration of her innocence. This is also a testament that the DFA and its people are willing to go the extra mile in order to protect and safeguard the rights of our kababayan wherever they are in the world,” Arriola said.

The DFA said Policarpio will be reunited with her family once COVID-19 health protocols are complied with.

Filipinos in Mali told to prepare for evacuation as DFA raises alert level 2

Robie de Guzman   •   September 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday advised Filipinos based in Mali to limit their movements and prepare for possible evacuation as it raised alert level 2 amid the political unrest in the country.

“Filipinos in Mali are advised to coordinate with the Philippine Embassy in Rabat, Morocco for further advisories and may contact them at +212-694202178 or via email at rabat.pe@dfa.gov.ph,” the DFA said in a statement.

The department said it raised the Alert Level 2 in Mali last Sept. 18 due to the current political and security situation in the country.

“Alert Level 2 is issued when there are threats to the life, security, and property of Filipinos arising from internal disturbances, instability, and/or external threat,” the DFA said.

Under this alert level, Filipinos are instructed to restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places, and prepare for evacuation, it added.

Political unrest ensued in Mali after it installed a transition government following a coup that forced its president to resign.

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