Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport attacked by Yemen’s Houthi group

Robie de Guzman   •   June 14, 2019   •   3727

Courtesy : Reuters

The Saudi-led military coalition vowed to respond firmly to a missile attack by Yemeni Houthi forces on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday (June 12) that wounded 26 people.

The coalition said a projectile hit the arrivals hall at Abha airport, causing material damage.

Three women and two children were among the wounded, who were of Saudi, Yemeni and Indian nationalities, it said in a statement on Thursday (June 13).

Meanwhile, planes from the Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen bombed areas around the capital Sanaa on Thursday, residents and the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV said.

The Western-backed, Sunni Muslim coalition has been battling the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen since 2015 when it intervened to try to restore the internationally recognized government that was ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Houthis in late 2014. (REUTERS)

Duterte invites Saudi Arabia’s King, Crown Prince to visit Philippines

Robie de Guzman   •   December 25, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has invited Saudi Arabia’s King and Crown Prince to visit the Philippines as the two countries marked the 50th anniversary of bilateral ties this year, a government official said.

Presidential Protocol chief and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert Borje said the president extended the invitation to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman as the two nations agreed to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation.

Duterte met the king and the crown prince during his visit to Riyadh in April 2017.

The Philippine government has asked for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s support for the development of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) through the administration’s major infrastructure projects in Mindanao.

The Saudi Arabian government has expressed willingness to contribute to the development of the Bangsamoro region. – RRD (from the report of Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

DOLE to limit deployment of OFWs to KSA in 2020

Maris Federez   •   December 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will set a limit on the deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia next year.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said, “the purpose of this scaling down is to call the attention of the Saudi Government to what we consider as slow action.”

This is in connection to the unpaid claims of the 13,000 repatriated OFWs from Saudi Arabia that now reached to more than Php 4-Billion.

“Their claim is about P4.6 Billion and we got a report from our Ambassador in KSA that probably we’ll not get any compensation,” Bello said.

Bello further said hundreds of OFWs who were sent home from KSA have not received their salaries since April.

“They filed their claims, they won their claims hanggang iyon hindi nababayaran […] No less than our President sent off a letter to the KSA king pero walang action. Iyon ang pag- aaralan namin and we will probably decide to scale down on deployment,” Bello added.

The government will specifically limit the deployment of new applicants for household and skilled works.

The agency will also limit the issuance of the Overseas Employment Certificates (OEC), especially on returning workers, but this is on a case-to-case basis.

The POEA governing board will still have to sit and discuss the full coverage of the limitation of the deployment of workers in Saudi Arabia and to set a final date for its implementation.— (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

Iraqis defy tear gas, upcoming curfew as protests stretch on

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

 Iraqi protesters react after police fired tear gas at them during a protest at al-Tahrir square, central Baghdad, Iraq, 28 October 2019. EPA-EFE/MURTAJA LATEEF

Thousands of people in Baghdad continued their protests at Tahrir Square in central Baghdad on Monday (October 28), defying a curfew scheduled to be imposed from midnight until 6am (2100GMT to 0300 GMT).

Protesters took to the streets for a fourth day, despite having endured bloody clashes over the weekend and an overnight raid by security forces seeking to disperse them.

At least 74 Iraqis were killed and hundreds wounded across the country on Friday (October 25) and Saturday (October 26) as demonstrators clashed with security forces and militia groups in the second wave of this month’s protests against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government.

More than 200 people have been killed in October so far.

Iraqi security forces on Monday fired tear gas at school and university students who defied a warning from the prime minister and joined anti-government protests.

A spokesman for Abdul Mahdi, whose position is increasingly precarious as he faces the largest challenge since he came to power a year ago, said on Sunday (October 27) that anyone disrupting work or school days would be severely punished.

Mass street protests in Baghdad and other cities in the southern Shi’te heartland against economic hardship began at the start of the month and resumed on Friday after a pause of about two weeks. (Reuters)

READ: DFA cautions Filipinos against travel to Iraq

(Production: Haider Kadhim, Mohammed Al-Ramahi, Mohammed Katfan, Hannah Ellison)

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