MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay personally appealed to Filipinos in Syria to get in touch with the Philippine Embassy for their immediate repatriation.
“Nananawagan ako sa ating mga kababayan sa Syria. Makipag-ugnayan kayo sa ating embahada sa madaling panahon. Mahalaga ang buhay ninyo at kaligtasan. Handa ang ating pamahalaan na tulungan kayong makauwi sa Pilipinas,” said Binay, Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) concerns.
Violence in Syria escalated after rebels bombed Damascus, killing three senior military officials close to President Bashar al-Assad.
The Philippine embassy in Damascus may be reached through phone at (011) 611.5893 for local calls, and +963-11613-266 or +963.11.611.5893 for international calls, and through email at [email protected]
Filipinos may also contact the Philippine honorary consulate in Aleppo at +963-21-5110-220/ 5120-220 or at [email protected]
The Department of Foreign Affairs estimated around 9,000 Filipinos based in the critical areas of Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, Daraa and Idlib.
“Huwag na po nating pilitin na pumunta o manatili sa Syria. Kailanman, hindi mapapantayan ng kahit na gaano kalaking salapi na kikitain n’yo doon ang inyong kaligtasan at buhay,” Binay said.
Earlier, the Philippine government filed 29 illegal recruitment cases against agencies and persons recruiting Filipinos to work in Syria despite a deployment ban.
Fourteen show-cause orders have also been filed against Bureau of Immigration personnel for their alleged involvement in the illegal smuggling of Filipinos.