Marcos: Pinoys trapped in Gaza out by Saturday | Global News
Israel-Hamas war

Marcos: Pinoys trapped in Gaza out by Saturday

DFA: Alert level 3 raised in Gaza; repatriation now voluntary terrorist designation

FILE – Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023. As Israeli warplanes pummel Gaza to avenge the Hamas attack, Palestinians say the military has largely unleashed its fury on civilians. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair, File)

President Marcos is holding on to the promise of Israel that Filipinos trapped in war-torn Gaza would be able to exit into Egypt this Friday or Saturday.

“[Israel] made a promise to us to let Filipinos out by today or tomorrow,” the President told journalists at a Palace briefing on Friday morning. “That is what they promised us. They said, Saturday at the latest.”


Marcos said Philippine Ambassador to Israel Pedro Laylo Jr. reported that Israeli President Isaac Herzog himself made the assurance and Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss called an online press briefing later on Friday to reiterate the promise.


“We will do everything from our part in order to facilitate the safe exit of Filipinos that are in Gaza,” Fluss said during the briefing via Zoom. Philippine Standard Time is six hours ahead of Israel.

Fluss stressed that while Israel can monitor happenings at the Rafah border crossing, it is under the direct control of Egypt, which sealed the crossing at the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7.

But Cairo reopened the crossing on Oct. 21 and allowed limited evacuations in a Qatar-mediated agreement in coordination with the United States.

Fluss however clarified that Israeli authorities will only allow Filipinos to exit Gaza, not including their Palestinian spouses.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, there are 134 Filipinos awaiting permission to cross the Rafah crossing, the only way out of Gaza as of this time.

Thus far, the government has evacuated three batches, totaling 119 Filipinos, from Israel, mostly caregivers and hotel workers, and 50 more are expected to arrive on Monday and Tuesday, according to Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) officer in charge Hans Leo Cacdac


Lebanon situation

Cacdac said they are now attending to requests for repatriation from Filipinos in Lebanon, mostly domestic helpers.

While the government has already repatriated 14 out of 185 requests, they expected the number to increase after Lebanon’s Hezbollah government mounted multiple strikes on Israeli army positions on Nov. 2.

The Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport remained opened at press time, allowing the repatriation of six Filipinos who arrived in Manila on Friday.

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The six Filipinos, all women, arrived on a flight from the United Arab Emirates along with the remains of Filipino caregiver Angelyn P. Aguirre, who was killed at the Kibbutz Kfar, near the Gaza border, during the Hamas attack on Oct. 7. INQ

TAGS: Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Filipinos, Gaza, Israel, OWWA, War

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