Philippines ready to accept Ukraine refugees – Palace

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Philippines ready to accept Ukraine refugees â Palace
eople arrive on a train from Ukraine’s border at Berlin’s main train station on March 2, 2022.
AFP / Tobias Schwarz

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is “more than prepared” to accept refugees from Ukraine, Malacañang said yesterday as armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues.

“Judging (by) what the President mentioned just a few days ago that the Philippines is ready to receive victims of the war in Ukraine, just as President Quezon did with the Israelis back in the day,” acting presidential spokesman Martin Andanar told CNN-Philippines.

Andanar said the country has the facilities to serve as temporary refugee camps.

“I think we are more than prepared, prepared more than ever. We have done this in the past, we are a country that’s battered by typhoons, more than 20 times a year. We just had the COVID-19 lockdowns, we have all the facilities that can be used as temporary refugee camps,” he said.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez on Thursday said President Duterte is ready to open the country’s “facilities” to American forces if Russia’s war with Ukraine turns for the worse and gets the US embroiled in the fighting.

He said Duterte made the remarks at a recent meeting in Manila.

“Give them the assurance that if ever needed, the Philippines is ready to offer whatever facilities or whatever things that the United States will need being a major – our No. 1 ally,” the ambassador quoted the President as saying.

The 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty commits the US and the Philippines to come to the aid of the other in case of an attack.

Andanar said he was not privy to the meeting between Romualdez and the President.

“It wasn’t discussed during the Talk to the People, because Ambassador Romualdez was (in) another room and I wasn’t privy to that meeting,” he said.

“Now, if you ask me about the Mutual Defense Treaty and opening up – all the agreements that we have with the United States, I would defer to (Defense) Secretary (Delfin) Lorenzana,” he said.


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