DFA ready to repatriate Filipinos in Iraq if tension escalates

Marje Pelayo   •   January 6, 2020   •   375

(FILE PHOTO) OFW IRAQ -Filipino overseas workers with a headband “Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in Iraq” rally near the gates of presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on Friday, 20 August 2004. There are already some 4,000 Filipino civilians working for various foreign companies in Iraq. More workers have pending applications for jobs there, but the government has yet to lift a ban imposed due to last month’s hostage crisis. EPA/DENNIS M. SABANGAN

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is appealing to all Filipinos to cancel or defer, until further notice, any travel to Iraq in view of the current tension in the country.

Filipinos in Iraq are likewise strongly advised to coordinate closely with the Philippine Embassy and their respective employers in the event that mandatory evacuation will be necessary.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin said the government is ready to repatriate Filipinos in the Middle East who are willing to return home in case conflict in the region further escalates.

In another tweet, he assured that President Rodrigo Duterte is aware and ready to deal with the crisis in the Middle East.

Filipinos in Iraq are advised to contact the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad through (+964) 781-606-6822; (+964) 751-616-7838; and (+964) 751-876-4665 or via email: baghdad.pe@dfa.gov.ph; and/or via facebook page: Philippine Embassy in Iraq for updates and assistance.

Japanese envoy to visit the Philippines

Marje Pelayo   •   January 3, 2020

Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi speaks during a joint press statement event with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi (not pictured) after their meeting in Tokyo, Japan, 25 November 2019. EPA-EFE/BEHROUZ MEHRI / POOL

MANILA, Philippines – Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Motegi Toshimitsu, is set to visit the Philippines from January 8 to 9 as a guest of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

During his official visit, Minister Motegi will have a bilateral meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin to discuss the advancement of the Philippine-Japan Strategic Partnership in terms of political dialogues, economic and infrastructure cooperation, defense and maritime security, as well as developments in the regional security landscape among others.

Likewise, the foreign ministers will discuss Japan’s support for Mindanao and the transition to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Minister Motegi will also pay a courtesy call on President Rodrigo Duterte as part of his first visit to the Philippines after being appointed to the position in September 2019.

Aside from the Philippines, the foreign minister is also visiting other Southeast Asian countries including Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.

DFA cautions Filipinos against travel to Iraq

Marje Pelayo   •   October 28, 2019

Iraqi protesters take part in an anti-Iraq government protest in the al-Tayaran square in central Baghdad, Iraq, 04 October 2019 (issued on 07 October 2019). A wave of unrest and violent protests in Iraq have left at least 100 people dead and thousands injured. EPA-EFE/MURTAJA LATEEF

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday (October 27) asked Filipinos to postpone any travel to Iraq in view of the ongoing unrest in the country.

In an advisory, the DFA calls on Filipinos that if travel to Iraq is inevitable or could not be delayed, avoid flights with early morning or late night arrivals in Baghdad, Basra, and the Kurdistan Region.

Also, curfews are currently imposed in several cities.

Filipinos needing assistance may contact the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad at the following information:

Mobile
(+964) 781-606-6822
(+964) 773-569-9562
(+964) 750-810-5240

E-mail
baghdad.pe@dfa.gov.ph

Facebook page
Philippine Embassy in Iraq

Justice sought for Filipina who jumped off a building in Abu Dhabi

Marje Pelayo   •   October 17, 2019

Kin of Mary Jean Balag-ey-Alberto cry for justice after the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) fell to her death from the 13th floor of a building in Abu Dhabi where she had been working.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) assured the grieving family of Filipina worker, Mary Jean Balag-ey Alberto, that the agency is closely monitoring the development of her case together with local authorities in the United Arab Emirates.

Alberto reportedly died on October 2 when she allegedly jumped off the 13th floor of a building in Abu Dhabi where she had been working.

“The Department shall respond appropriately once the results of the forensic investigation are released,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.

In a statement, the DFA said the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) and the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi are in coordination with Alberto’s family.

Specifically, Embassy representatives assisted Alberto’s daughter in a case conference with the concerned UAE authorities and a lawyer was retained to personally pursue immediate legal steps to ensure that justice for the death of the Filipina worker would be served.

According to UAE authorities, Alberto committed suicide but her family is seeking the truth on a possible foul play regarding her death.

“The Department is extending all assistance necessary in the immediate resolution of the case, as well as in the repatriation of Ms. Alberto’s remains to the Philippines,” the DFA in the statement concluded.

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