Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Sec. Teodoro Locsin, Jr. announced Wednesday night that the Philippines has welcomed Afghan refugees who left their country after the Taliban gained control of their government several weeks ago.
Locsin in a post on Twitter said the Afghan asylum seekers were composed of women and children who have been forced to leave Afghanistan to escape persecution.
They arrived in the Philippines after the Taliban defeated resistance troops in Panjshir, the final holdout province in Afghanistan, three weeks after taking Kabul.
“We stay steady where others waver: tonight we welcome Afghan nationals including women and kids seeking refuge. Our doors are open to those fleeing, conflict, persecution, sexual abuse, and death,” Locsin said in his tweet.
Locsin added the DFA is not giving out any other information to the public to ensure the asylum seekers’ safety.
He also said they will not entertain any inquiries from the media regarding the matter.
“No further information will be provided [to] the public for the refugees’ safety and privacy. So, media, don’t bother any of us. 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.
In August, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) quoted Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra in saying that enough measures are in place to handle the national security implications of the country’s decision to admit prospective Afghan refugees.
If they apply for permanent status as refugees, the refugees and stateless person unit (RSPU) of the DOJ will handle their application and evaluation.