4 Filipinos back in PH from Myanmar, ongoing efforts for 2 others – DFA

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MANILA, Philippines, Nov 22, (Agencies): Four Filipinos have returned home from Myanmar, while two remain in the country due to escalating tensions related to the insurgency against military rule, as reported by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Nov 22.

DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega explained that the initial plan was to evacuate six Filipinos from Myanmar, but only four were successfully repatriated. The two individuals left behind are currently being assisted by the Philippine government to return home. According to De Vega, the four repatriated Filipinos are in good condition.

However, the evacuation of the remaining two is complicated by the fact that they are wanted in China for engaging in illegal activities that victimized Chinese nationals. The government is exploring transportation options to bring them to Bangkok, from where they can catch a flight to Manila.

De Vega clarified that the Filipinos who had to be repatriated from Myanmar were working in an area where the Philippines had not issued working authorization due to their status as victims of human trafficking. He mentioned that only those in Yangon and a few other authorized places are allowed to work in Myanmar.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr expressed lament over the difficulty the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) faces in addressing the conflict in Myanmar, noting minimal progress toward a resolution. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern about the conflict that has displaced 200,000 people.

Reports indicate that the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and Arakan Army (AA) launched attacks near the northern border with China on Oct 27. This marks a significant challenge to the ruling military in Myanmar since the 2021 coup that saw the military seize power from elected leaders.

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