Filipinos hurt in Beirut blast now at 47 – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   August 10, 2020   •   246

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday reported that the number of Filipinos who suffered injuries following the powerful blasts in Beirut, Lebanon has climbed to 47.

In a statement, the DFA said it received a report on five additional Filipino nationals who were injured in the explosions.

“We are still thankful that the injuries sustained by our kababayans are not life-threatening. We also thank our Embassy personnel for taking prompt action,” DFA Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said.

The department also said it is now preparing to bring home this week the remains of four Filipinos who died in the blast.

A chartered flight will also be facilitated for the repatriation of some 400 Filipino workers in Lebanon who wish to return to the Philippines.

Arriola said the cost of the repatriation will be shouldered by the government.

On August 4, two explosions occurred at the port of the city of Beirut that resulted in more than 100 deaths and 5,000 injuries.

The blasts were believed to have been linked to more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate which have been stored in a warehouse for about six years since it was confiscated from an abandoned ship.

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.

Online art exhibition launched to support Filipino artists affected by pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 16, 2020

An online art exhibition was launched by the Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt to support Filipino artists affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

A total of 31 art pieces from various artists were featured in the online exhibit. Consul General Evelyn D. Austria Garcia called on Filipino-Germans to lend their support to Filipino artists especially in these unprecedented times.

“It is vital that we recognize and protect the work of our artists both for their economic well-being and for the preservation of a part of our culture,” she said.

PH Consulate General in Frankfurt Conducts Online Art Exhibition in Support of Filipino Artists Affected by the…

Posted by Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines on Monday, September 14, 2020

The online exhibition entitled, “Envisioning Healing and Inspiration from Abroad: Overseas Filipinos Supporting Filipino Artists in Times of Pandemic,” featured the artwork of self-taught Filipino artists from Transwing Art Gallery. The online art exhibition was launched last September 11. AAC

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