DFA cautions Filipinos vs travel to Kashmir amid India-Pakistan tensions
Aileen Cerrudo • March 1, 2019 • 3646
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), on Thursday, advised Filipinos in India and Pakistan to stay vigilant and avoid travels to the Kashmir region.
This is amid rising tensions between the two countries which stemmed from a suicide car bombing by Pakistan-based militants that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in the Indian-controlled Kashmir on February 14.
Pakistan and India launched airstrikes against each other and exchanged fire in dozens of locations.
The DFA expressed hope “that India and Pakistan will exercise restraint.”
According to the DFA, there are no Filipinos working, residing in Kashmir. But there are seven Filipino military observers serving with the United Nations Military Observer Group In India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).
“All seven are safe along with the approximately 1,780 members of the Filipino Community in Pakistan and 1,167 others in India,” said the DFA in a statement.
The Foreign Affairs Department advises Filipinos to contact the Philippine Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan at +92 333 524 4762 or the Philippine Embassy in New Delhi, India at (+91) 99 1079 7014 for emergency situations. —Aileen Cerrudo with reports from Reuters
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday reminded the public that the deployment ban to Iraq has not been lifted, reiterating its warning to Filipinos against online announcements for job offers in the Middle Eastern country.
The DFA issued the statement after some online announcements claim that the existing ban on deployment to Iraq has been lifted.
“Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) Governing Board Resolution No. 6, s. 2018, which suspends the deployment of newly hired workers bound for Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, remains in effect,” the DFA said in a statement.
“Furthermore, household workers who are already based in Iraq are also banned from returning to Iraq should they go on vacation to the Philippines,” it added.
The DFA further warned all Filipino travelers that Iraq imposes hefty penalties for persons without the proper visas or with expired visas.
“Filipinos who are temporarily vacationing in Iraq or are residing and working before the deployment ban are advised to take note of their visa validity dates,” it said.
The DFA also reminded Filipinos to take note of the following early warning signs of human trafficking if they receive job offers overseas:
applicants do not possess their own identification documents such as IDs or passports;
passports are confiscated;
applicants are advised to inform authorities that they are just visiting a particular city, like Dubai, Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok;
applicants are advised of particular immigration lanes to choose or given nonverbal cues to lookout for during departure from Clark Airport or the Ninoy Aquino International Airport;
agency has no permanent address; and
agents do not reveal their full names and contact details.
The department also advised the public to comply with pre-departure formalities being implemented by Philippine immigration authorities.
“These formalities are intended to ensure the safety of Filipino travelers and prevent the occurrence of illegal recruitment, people smuggling, and human trafficking cases,” the DFA said.
MANILA, Philippines – The female employer of Filipino household worker Joana Demafelis has been found guilty of murder by the Syrian District Criminal Court, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.
The DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs reported that Mouna Ali Hassoun was handed the guilty verdict for the killing of Demafelis, whose remains were found in a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait in February 2018.
Hassoun was in Syria where she had been in custody since last year.
Her Lebanese husband, Nader Essam Assaf, is also facing a murder charge in Lebanon.
Demafelis was reported missing in 2016. Kuwaiti authorities discovered her remains inside a freezer where she was believed to have been kept for more than a year.
Based on the autopsy report, Demafelis suffered internal bleeding and sustained several broken bones.
The discovery of her remains prompted the previous deployment ban of new Filipino workers to Kuwait.
“DFA will continue to provide legal assistance to the family until justice is served,” the department said.
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