MANILA – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. on Wednesday night confirmed that the country has welcomed the first Afghan refugees to the Philippines since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan three weeks ago.
“We stay steady where others waver: tonight we welcome Afghan nationals including women & kids seeking refuge. Our doors are open to those fleeing, conflict, persecution, sexual abuse and death,” he said in a tweet.
Locsin, however, noted that no further information will be provided to the public for the refugees’ safety and privacy.
“The matter is closed. We’re not interested in publicity or thanks. This is done so one can look at himself in the mirror. Period,” he said.
Malacañang last August 17 stated that the Philippines’ doors are open to Afghan nationals fleeing Afghanistan to escape the Taliban’s rule.
There is no specific quota on the number of refugees which may be taken in by the Philippines but Locsin earlier said the country will only accept refugees on a government-to-government basis.
“We will not entertain any request for asylum coming from NGOs, however well-meaning or reputable, or any other non-state parties,” he said in a tweet Monday.
“I predict that refugees will be the next lucrative order of business, having plenty of cash in hand or in foreign bank accounts. The temptation will be resistible to help them and help oneself to them. That will never happen under this administration or in my watch,” he added. (PNA)
September 9, 2021