AFP to pull out peacekeepers if ordered
MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines will follow orders if Manila will decide to pull out its peacekeeping force a UN patrolled demarcation line.
“This is a commitment of the Philippines to the United Nations, but if the recommendation is approved then we will follow. It is not the AFP that dictates the deployment,” Major Ramon Zagala, AFP Public Affairs Office chief, told INQUIRER.net.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Friday that he has recommended to President Benigno Aquino III the pull out of the more than 300 Filipino UN peacekeepers from the Golan Heights following the abduction of four by Syrian rebels, the second such incident in two months.
Del Rosario said the government believes the exposure of the country’s 342 peacekeepers “is beyond tolerable limits.”
On Wednesday, the United Nations pulled peacekeepers back from an observation post in the Golan Heights ceasefire zone where four Filipino peacekeepers were abducted by Syrian rebels.
Syrian rebels seized the four peacekeepers along the UN-patrolled demarcation line separating the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Syria on Tuesday, only two months after 21 Filipino peacekeepers were abducted and held for three days by the rebels in the same area. With Associated Press