DFA calls on North Korea to comply with int’l obligations after ballistic missile launch

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 31, 2021   •   292

MANILA, Philippines—Following the ballistic missile launch of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on March 25, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has reiterated its call for the country to comply with international laws.

The Foreign Department, in a statement on Friday (March 31), expressed concern over DPRK’s latest ballistic missile launch saying the actions undermine regional peace and stability, not only in the Korean Peninsula, but also in the entire region.

The department said the DPRK should abide by the obligation under the resolutions set by the United Nations Security Council.

Two missiles were launched by North Korea into the sea near Japan on Thursday (March 25). AAC

No plans yet for repatriation of OFWs in Israel yet — DFA exec

Marje Pelayo   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is closely monitoring the situation in Israel amid fresh attacks from Hamas militant groups in the Gaza Strip in recent days.

According to DFA Executive Director for Strategic Communications Ivy Banzon-Abalos, the agency has no plans yet to repatriate Filipinos in Israel though tensions seem to escalate between the two conflicting forces.

“Wala pa po dahil may mga safe areas naman po doon,” Abalos said when asked about possible repatriation.

Based on DFA’s record, there are at least 30,000 Filipinos living and working in Israel.

Most of this number work as caregivers or household helpers.

Since Monday (May 10), the Hamas militant group launched almost a hundred of its rockets aiming at Israeli forces to which the latter intercepted with its iron dome system.

To date, the DFA said there is no report of any casualty or injury among Filipinos in Israel.

“No new updates pa po. Wala pa ring report of any Filipino casualties,” Abalos said.

While the situation on the ground remains volatile, the DFA advises Filipinos in Israel to remain vigilant and be aware of the situation.

In its advisory, the DFA warns Filipinos not to go to sensitive areas near Jerusalem including Temple Mount; Damascus Gate; Herod’s Gate; Al Wad Road; Mustata Road; and East Jerusalem and near the West Bank.

Also, Filipinos are discouraged to come near Israeli Security Forces and immediately go to nearby bomb shelters at the sound of the siren.

Filipinos are advised to keep the Philippine Embassy in Israel Hotline number +972 54 466 1188 and immediately communicate with any Embassy representative in any case of emergency. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

‘We’re fine’: Roque says after Locsin’s ‘drop the subject’ tweet

Robie de Guzman   •   May 12, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday said he is still on good terms with Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. after the latter called out his recent remarks on the Julian Felipe Reef.

“I have talked to SFA (Secretary of Foreign Affairs) and we are fine,” Roque said in a message when asked for a reaction on Locsin’s comments.

The DFA chief earlier insisted that he was the only one who can speak when it comes to foreign affairs.

“This is my last warning. When it comes to foreign affairs, the Department of Foreign Affairs has the exclusive remit. I don’t come from diplomacy; I come from a life that settled the hash of a lotta people who talked tough and ended up biting dirt. I don’t talk, I deal,” he tweeted.

He also urged his fellow government officials to lay off the issue on the West Philippine Sea and leave it to his department.

“What can we do? Let’s try this: drop the subject and leave it entirely to the Department of Foreign Affairs under ME, the only expert on the subject bar none. I’ve known China since 1967; Chito Sta. Romana along with me. Even the military has nothing to do with foreign affairs,” he said.

Locsin made the comment after Roque claimed on Tuesday that the Philippines was “never in possession” of the Julian Felipe Reef, where Chinese vessels were spotted since March.

“All we’re saying is we were never in possession of that area and we’re making a big thing out of the fact that that area naman in the first place was never under our possession… ni hindi po iyan kabahagi ng ating EEZ (exclusive economic zone) iyong Julian Felipe. Labas po iyan, ganiyan po kalayo iyan,” he said during his regular press briefing.

In a statement he issued later, Roque stressed that the Philippines will not abandon its claims on the Julian Felipe Reef.

“Pero it doesn’t weaken anything kasi hindi naman natin gini-give-up iyong claim natin to Julian Felipe pursuant to Marcos appending Julian Felipe into the territory of the Philippines. That is our evidence of effective occupation,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

DFA logs 41 new cases of COVID-19 among Filipinos abroad; active cases at 6,018

Marje Pelayo   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported on Wednesday (May 5) that 41 overseas Filipinos added to the list of active cases of COVID-19 abroad.

Overall, 18,457 Filipinos abroad have been infected with the disease.

Of the said number, 6,018 Filipinos in different countries are undergoing treatment; while 11,292 have recovered. Those who succumbed to the disease are now at 1,147.

The highest number of COVID-19 cases reported among overseas Filipinos are in the Middle East and Africa, in Asia and the Pacific, and in Europe and the Americas.

To date, a total of 94 countries and territories have reported cases of Filipinos infected with coronavirus, the DFA said.

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