DFA: Duterte only wants Filipinos in US to follow the law
The Department of Foreign Affairs on Thursday issued a clarification after President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not help undocumented Filipinos staying in the United States.
“The statement of the President regarding Filipinos in the United States has to be put in its proper context,” said a DFA statement released on social media.
“As guests of the United States, Filipino citizens there have a responsibility to make sure that they follow all laws and regulations of that country,” it said.
Duterte, during a press briefing in Malacañang, expressed support for US President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigrants and refugees. Trump has been criticized for banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.
“To Filipinos there (in the United States), you better be on the right track. If you are not allowed to stay there where you are staying, get out because if you are caught and deported, I will not lift a finger,” the President said.
The DFA pointed out that the government expects the same from American guests and other nationalities.
It said most Filipinos in the US “have no encounters with the law. But for those who regrettably do, the Philippine Embassy and the six Philippine Consulates in the US are always able and ready to provide guidance and assistance.”
The DFA said they will protect the rights of Filipinos under the US law.
It also assured the public that the embassy is closely monitoring the developments pertaining to the controversial US order.
“Our officials have requested relevant US authorities to share details regarding the orders, the enforcement and possible implications of these orders,” it said. JE
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.