Locsin: No harm will come to Filipinos in Ukraine

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
Locsin: No harm will come to Filipinos in Ukraine
FILE - In this June 30, 2020 screengrab, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. speaks at the virtual Special ASEAN-Australia Foreign Ministers Meeting.

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:45 p.m.)  — The Philippines' top diplomat on Wednesday assured Filipinos in Ukraine that no harm will come to them amid rising tensions with Russia.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he will be making calls to arrange the safe passage of Filipinos out of Ukraine.

"Rest assured Filipinos in Ukraine will come to no harm; I will be on top of it personally," Locsin said in a tweet Wednesday.

Locsin is currently in Cambodia for the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting, which he noted will be done in two days.

The DFA chief added that he will be in Paris, which is "close enough to Ukraine", on February 19 for the ASEAN-EU meetings.

Locsin further noted that the task of arranging the evacuation of Filipinos in Ukraine will fall under Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola.

"It will be a land journey to the closest border; I expect the Americans to keep watch as they did and more discreetly in Libyan evacuations and rescues," Locsin said.

In a related statement, Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan urged the foreign affairs department to coordinate with Ukraine on the possible evacuation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who may be affected amid the impending threat of a Russian invasion of the former Soviet state. 

He also called on the labor department and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to prepare for any scenario.

"The DFA should immediately coordinate with the Ukraine government for the possible evacuation and repatriation of our countrymen there. There are 600 Pinoys who are working there as household workers or information technology personnel, based on data from the Ukrainian government," Pangilinan said in Filipino in a statement posted on the Senate's website. 

As of Tuesday night, the DFA said it was working with the EU in ensuring safe passage of Filipinos across European borders.

The agency described the situation in Ukraine as "fluid and security conditions could change at any moment."

"We urge Filipinos in Ukraine to keep communication lines with the Philippine Embassy in Poland open, and wait for updates, bulletins and safety instructions," the DFA said in a statement.

Filipinos in Ukraine may contact the Philippine Embassy in Poland through:


  • Emergency: +48 604 357 396
  • Assistance to Nationals: +48 694 491 663

Email: warsaw.pe @dfa.gov.ph

US President Joe Biden has warned that a Russian invasion in Ukraine remained "very much a possibility."

"Analysts indicate that they remain very much in a threatening position," Biden said in address. — with Angelica Y. Yang

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 18, 2023 - 10:13am

President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday secured Turkey's crucial backing for Ukraine's NATO aspirations after winning a US pledge for cluster munitions that could inflict massive damage on Russian forces on the battlefield.

Washington's decision to deliver the controversial weapons — banned across a large part of the world but not in Russia or Ukraine — dramatically ups the stakes in the war, which entered its 500th day Saturday.

Zelensky has been travelling across Europe trying to secure bigger and better weapons for his outmatched army, which has launched a long-awaited counteroffensive that is progressing less swiftly than Ukraine's allies had hoped. — AFP

October 18, 2023 - 10:13am

Washington's decision to supply Ukraine with ATACMS long-range missiles is "a grave mistake", Russian ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov says Wednesday.

"The White House's decision to send long-range missiles to Ukrainians is a grave mistake. The consequences of this step, which was deliberately hidden from the public, will be of the most serious nature," he says in a statement. — AFP

October 15, 2023 - 3:26pm

President Vladimir Putin says Sunday that Russian forces had made gains in their Ukraine offensive including in Avdiivka, a symbolic industrial hub.

"Our troops are improving their position in almost all of this area, which is quite vast," he says in an interview on Russian television, an extract of which was posted on social media on Sunday. "This concerns the areas of Kupiansk, Zaporizhia and Avdiivka." — AFP

October 12, 2023 - 12:48pm

The regional governor says debris from a drone destroyed over the Russian region of Belgorod, which borders Ukraine, fell on homes and killed three people, including a young child.

The air defense system "shot down an aircraft-type UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) approaching the city", says Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, adding that the falling debris destroyed several homes.

"Most importantly, three people were killed, one of them a small child," he writes on the Telegram messaging app, accompanied by pictures of a house reduced to a pile of rubble behind red and white police tape. — AFP

October 10, 2023 - 2:18pm

Ukraine's air force says on Tuesday that it had destroyed 27 of 36 Russian attack drones overnight in the south of the country.

Ukrainian forces downed 27 "Shahed-136/131" drones in the southern Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odesa regions, the air force said on the messaging platform Telegram.

In all, Moscow had launched 36 of the Iranian-made drones from the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014, it says. — AFP

October 6, 2023 - 7:28pm

The Kremlin claims on Friday Russian forces never targeted civilian infrastructure after Ukraine blamed Moscow for a missile attack that killed over 50 people in the eastern village of Groza.

"We repeat that the Russian military does not strike civilian targets. Strikes are carried out on military targets, on places where military personnel are concentrated," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says in his daily briefing. — AFP

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