The Philippines is keeping its temporary ban on the deployment of new hires to Israel “to protect its citizens,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday, responding to a statement by the Israeli ambassador criticizing the ban and citing an improved security situation amid the ceasefire between Israeli and Hamas forces.
The DFA said it “takes exception” to the statement by Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Menashe Bar-On, adding that only the Philippines could make the decision to protect its citizens.
“The Philippine government has the sovereign duty and prerogative to protect all its nationals wherever they may be, especially those caught in conflict areas. No other state can substitute its judgment over that of the Philippine government regarding the welfare of its own nationals,” the foreign office said.
The DFA had placed parts of Israel on alert levels that barred the deployment of new hires. Alert level 2 was hoisted over central and southern Israel, while alert level 4 was called over Hamas-controlled Gaza.
The warring sides agreed to a ceasefire on Nov. 21. Tarra Quismundo