PH receives first batch of Afghan refugees

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. on Wednesday said the
country welcomed the first batch of Afghan refugees since the Taliban
took control of Afghanistan three weeks ago, but did not disclose the
exact numbers.

“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,” 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.

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