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PH keeps troops in Golan Heights

Alberto del Rosario

Foreign Affairs secretary Alberto del Rosario. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Philippines said on Friday it would keep its 340 peacekeepers in the Golan Heights at least until Aug. 11 while it reviews the provision of heavier weapons and enhanced protection for the troops.

Despite the recent abduction of Filipino peacekeepers,  President Benigno Aquino III said he would reject a proposal to pull the Filipinos out if the United Nations (UN) met his requests to boost security, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement.

The UN Security Council recently approved the provision of machine guns and other enhanced security provisions for the Golan Heights peacekeepers, members of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) tasked to enforce a 1974 truce between Syria and Israel.  Recently, the spillover of fighting between Syria and its internal rebel groups has posed new threats to the UNDOF.

Recommendation

The brief abduction of 25 Filipino members of the UNDOF by Syrian rebels this year as well as the wounding of a soldier at a UN outpost prompted Del Rosario to recommend to Aquino that all the country’s troops be withdrawn.

“The President has agreed to continue with the deployment of our 340-man contingent until Aug. 11, 2013, at which time the rotational process will be determined. Subject to meeting considerations which the Philippines has made to enhance the security and safety of our peacekeepers, the President has expressed the Philippines is prepared to continue its UNDOF participation,” Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda reiterated.

Aquino earlier said the Philippine troops needed antitank and antiaircraft weapons, and protection against chemical warfare.

Pullout

Escalating violence against the UNDOF has seen other countries pull out their troops.

Austria, previously the top contributor, has begun withdrawing its 377 soldiers, leaving a force of 533—340 from the Philippines and 193 from India.

Earlier, Japan and Croatia withdrew their UNDOF contingents.

It was reported that Fiji has agreed to send 500 soldiers

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday the UN was “seriously concerned” about its shrinking peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights and was seeking to recruit troops from Europe to fill the gap.

Del Rosario earlier said the UN and the United States have been trying to dissuade the Philippines from pulling out.

At a press briefing on Friday, Lacierda stressed the President’s concern for the safety of its troops:

Sad experience

“We already had the sad experience of having our peacekeepers abducted (twice) by some forces, so we are concerned.”

One Filipino soldier was wounded on June 6 when he was hit by a shrapnel while at Camp Ziouni, the logistics base of UNDOF in the area.

“So we are presently coordinating with them, and what is very clear (is) that we are committed to stay until Aug. 11 and then, we’ll talk,” Lacierda said.

The UN Security Council had passed a resolution to extend the mandate of the force until the end of the year. It called on the Syrian government and opposition fighters to stay out of the zone. AFP, Michael Lim Ubac


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  • Peter Lim

    Everybody wants to be in for the $$$$$!!!

    • kanoy

      $$$$$$ PAYS THE BILLS PUTS CLOTHES ON OUR BACK FOOD IN OUR BELLY ROOF OVER OUR HEAD FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN PEOPLE WHO FIND $$$$$$$$ USELESS ARE NOT CONCERNED WITH ANY OF THE ABOVE AND PREFER TO LIVE OFF THE BACKS OF THOSE WHO DO= LEECH

  • getreal911

    Subservience slavery of pinoy military to the max without any clear benefit for Phil. Better expose pinoy soldiers in foreign atrocities which has nothing to do with Phil. than engaging them with the local abus, npas, criminal elements in the streets of Manila. Tsk, tsk, tsk…. how funny Phil. leaders govern the country.

    • getreal911

      Phil. governance is so good in putting its people in harms way to evade its moral responsibility. Send out OFWs abroad thus exposing a lot to employer rapes, consulate abuses, any other form of abuses, away from families, etc. instead of providing decent jobs in their own country. Privatizing everything to the detriment of the people instead of managing them wisely and prosecuting with an iron hand those corrupt managers of govt-owned corps then. Toll gates everywhere, redundant taxes here and there or any other form of payment, H2O and elec. companies having the people pay all their burdens secretly, coddling criminals in uniforms, etc. The ills of Phil. governance is never ending, far more than the few good things it can deliver to the people. Being hopeful is more like really hopeless in this cycle of inefficiency.

      • kanoy

        THERE IS NOTHING THAT YOU MENTION TO HAPPEN TO PINOY OFW THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN TO PINOY ON MAINLAND

        EXCEPT 1 HUGE OUTCOME OFW GET THAT MAINLAND HAS YET TO GET—-QUICK SPEEDY TRIAL AND JUSTICE

    • kanoy

      SIMPLE SOLUTION= QUIT NATO= REJECT ALL FOREIGN AID OF ANY SORT= ISOLATE THE RP LIKE THE DPRK AND WATCH HOW FAST THE RP BECOMES A CHINESE TERRITORY OVERNIGHT

  • md’c™

    There is no benefit to our country having our troops in Golan Heights. This policy is non-filipino. We must put our military in our land first which right now is at risk. Pull them all out and send them all back home including the abducted filipinos.

    Policy like this and UN has not helped us, literally NOT in almost all situation.

    • kanoy

      WHAT A DISGRACE TO GOD TO THINK THAT CONTRIBUTING AS A MEMBER OF NATO WORKING TO PRESERVE WORLD PEACE SERVES NO BENEFITS TO THE PHILIPPINES THE VERY COUNTRY WHO IS CRYING OUT TO ASEAN AND NATO FOR PROTECTION FROM CHINA—PATHETIC WIMP HELP HELP BUT WE WON’T HELP

      • md’c™

        FµCK YOU ÅSSHØLE AND GO TO HELL FOREVER. YOUR PRESENCE ON EARTH HAS NO VALUE. YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO HUMAN KIND.

      • JK1000

        Naka drugs kana naman, tulog mo na iyan.

      • md’c™

        Fµck, say what?

      • kanoy

        United Nations’ Loyalty Oath
        “I (THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES) solemnly affirm to exercise in all loyalty, discretion and
        conscience the functions entrusted to me as a member of the
        international service of the United Nations, to discharge those
        functions and regulate my conduct with the interest of the United
        Nations only in view, and not to seek or accept instructions in
        respect to the performance of my duties from any government or other
        authority external to the organization.”
        THEN A PINOY TRUCK DRIVER WAS CAPTURED BY ABU AND GAVE THE ORDER TO THE RP TO LEAVE THE ALLIES IN IRAQ AND DISHONOR ITS SWORN OATH TO THE UN NOT TO OBEY ANYONE EXCEPT THE UN ORDERS—THE SAD RP DID BOTH AND LEFT IN DISGRACE

      • JK1000

        Ungok ! nakapunta ka lang sa America ,hindi mo na alam ang pagka-dog mo.

      • md’c™

        Hey Jåckåss, I did not just fly to the usa, I was born there. Shut up and get a grip.

      • kanoy

        when the nerve of truth hits the bliss of ignorance the only retaliatory action left to the uneducated unemployed is to display that ignorance—nicely done

  • Commentator

    I think as long as the soldiers want to serve there because of bigger salaries in dollars, they should stay rather than be sent to Sulu which is more dangerous.

    • Pio Gante

      talagang nakakapang-hinayang ang 100+usd/day. mucho dinero ang mga nade-deploy for overseas peacekeeping operations kaya nga nagkaroon na ng placement fee dahil chicken feed lang ang sahod nila sa pinas, pati afp at pnp ayaw ring matigil dahil mawawala ang pondo galing sa un

  • JK1000

    The Israelis should assist the Philippines in training our soldiers in return while filipinos continues to help guard peace in Golan Heights. The Israel Defense Force are the best in this business, our soldiers can learn a lot from the Israelis.Or maybe, let this contigent be deploy in the spratly island.

    • Pio Gante

      the zionists are doing that regularly albeit discreetly to our uniformed services especially the psg and they have leaned a lot from those training courses.

  • disqusted0fu

    Pnoy is like an expert in armaments. Guns, fancy cars and video games are his obsession. He has to find a way to co-relate these things to his governance. That’s the only way he’ll be successful as a President



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