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AFP ready to conduct evacuation operations in Israel if necessary

MANILA -- While the government does not see yet the need to repatriate Filipinos in war-torn Israel, the Armed Forces of the Philippines expressed its preparedness on Wednesday to conduct an evacuation operation for Filipinos affected by the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

In a press briefing in Malacañang, AFP Spokesperson Colonel Medel Aguilar said that they already prepared a plan should they be called to assist in the humanitarian mission with military aircrafts, C-130 and C-295, as air transport.

“I am here to assure everybody that with the guidance of our President, his Excellency Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., the Armed Forces of the Philippines is prepared to execute evacuation operation should there be a need for that,” he said.

Aguilar noted that the operation will be in line with the whole-of-nation approach to ensure the safety of the affected overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the Filipino community in Israel.

The Adana Airport in Turkey has been identified as a temporary safe haven for Filipinos who will be evacuated in case hostilities escalate, according to Aguilar.

“We have already identified Adana airport sa Turkey as a temporary safe haven. From there, we will be shuttling Filipinos who are affected by the conflict with the identification of the Ben Gurion airport, but all of these will only be executed based on the recommendation or the instruction coming from other government authorities,” he said.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega said that there are no repatriation requests from Filipinos in Israel as he emphasized that they are now employing a diplomatic approach to allow these Filipinos and their families to cross the borders.

“We have not repatriated them yet because as I have said yesterday po, naka-blockade ang Gaza at saka pati yung kanilang border both to Israel and to Egypt,” de Vega said.

“Now it’s a diplomatic approach. We are using diplomacy along with other countries in order to have the borders open so that we could have ‘yung mga kababayan natin, so we could have our countrymen and women go to the border,” he added. (PND)

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Andrea Bancud


Information II from the Creative Production Services Division of PIA Central Office who also writes scripts for IEC materials such as AVP, TV Commercial, Radio Commercial and print materials. 

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