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DFA renews call for Filipinos to leave Yemen

MANILA, Philippines—Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Friday renewed the government’s call for the Filipinos in war-torn Yemen to come home, airing the department’s frustration over the citizens’ insistence to stay despite the present danger.

“Yemen is a difficult challenge for us because the people (Filipino nationals) there are very stubborn,” Del Rosario said.

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Since the Department of Foreign Affairs issued a call for a mandatory repatriation in February, only four Filipinos out of the 700 living there have been repatriated.

The security situation in the country continued to worsen as Saudi Arabia-led coalition began to pound areas held by the rebels through air strikes.

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An Alert Level 4, or Mandatory Repatriation, remains in effect with embassy officials in Yemen appealing to Filipino citizens to pack their things and go back to the country.

“We have made many attempts to repatriate them. As we speak there is already a rapid response team there to help whoever is willing to come out and be repatriated,” he said noting that he himself has visited the country many times.

“The situation is very dangerous and the people are very vulnerable. Those who have relatives in Yemen, let’s get them out of there,” Del Rosario said.

In Libya, on the other hand, the mandatory repatriation continued with 165 Filipinos flying home this week. The arrivals brought the total number of Filipino repatriates from Libya to 4,414 since May 2014.

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TAGS: Department of Foreign Affairs, Libya, ofws, Overseas Filipino workers, Yemen
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