DFA closely monitoring situation in Lebanon

Posted at 10/21/12 1:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) vowed to closely monitor the security situation in Lebanon following a blast that occurred in a commercial district in Beirut last Friday.

In an interview with ANC’s Dateline Philippines on Sunday, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez said the department will continue to oversee the situation to ensure the safety of Filipinos in the area even though no Filipinos were reportedly hurt or killed in the blast.

Hernandez said the DFA is doing its best to keep in touch with authorities in Lebanon to properly guide the Filipinos in case the tension escalates.

“What we are doing is we are monitoring the security situation in the area... We are in touch with the authorities there as well as our area coordinators and Filipino community leaders. We’ll check if the security situation will escalate and make announcement and advisories to the Filipino community there,” he said.

Hernandez said the DFA have been advising the 20,000 Filipinos in Lebanon not to join protests during this critical times period.

“Make sure that they are safe... not to join in some protests or rallies and make sure they are in touch with the embassy so that if there are new advisories, they would be able to easily get them and make sure that they are helped and assisted by the embassy,” he said.

Hernandez said the Philippine government has no evacuation plan in place yet as authorities are still observing the situation.

“So far there are no advisories to that effect. We are still monitoring the security situation in the area and if our OFWs there would be at risk. If this kind of situation would escalate, we would make the necessary decision,” he said.