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Iran ‘standing down’? Good news but evacuation of Filipinos continues — Palace

/ 01:42 PM January 09, 2020

MANILA, Philippines—While it welcomes reports that Iran appears to be “standing down” after its missile targets United States’ military bases in Iraq, Malacañang said Thursday that evacuation of Filipinos from the conflict area will continue.

“Good news for all of us. If the conflict has de-escalated instead of escalating, then that’s good news for everyone, especially for our overseas workers. But nevertheless, the move to evacuate and repatriate is still going on,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.

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He noted that taking overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon to a safe place will go on “unless the situation (there) reaches the point where the safety of our countrymen is no longer in peril.”

US President Donald Trump earlier said Iran “appears to be standing down” after its missile attack on US targets in Iraq.

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Iran’s move is perceived to be a retaliation on the killing of its top general, Qasem Soleimani, in Iraq by a US airstrike.

Wary that OFWs in the Middle East may be harmed, President Rodrigo Duterte has sent government officials to Iraq and Iran to establish coordination and lay the groundwork for the evacuation of Filipino workers.

He also ordered the military to prepare its air and naval assets for the possible repatriation of OFWs in the Middle East once the situation there worsens. He then asked Congress and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to source out funds to be used for the evacuation of Filipinos.

A special committee led by Duterte’s top security officials was also created to lead the evacuation of Filipinos from the Gulf Region.

Edited by MUF
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TAGS: Delfin Lorenzana, Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Iran, Iraq, Malacañang, Middle east, ofws, Rodrigo Duterte, Salvador Panelo, US
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