By JAMIL SANTOS | GMA News Online
Presidential candidate and former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Saturday urged the government to speed up the mass repatriation of Filipinos in Ukraine following an invasion by Russia.
There are 380 Filipinos in Ukraine, living mostly in capital Kyiv, which is under attack by Russian forces, but only 181 have so far been accounted for.
“We have to get our countrymen there out of harm’s way. Let’s not wait for the aggression to escalate further. The DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) should speed up on the mass repatriation while we can still do so, especially with Russian forces allegedly targeting civilian areas,” Marcos said in a statement.
Marcos added the government should now proceed with the crisis management mechanisms and exit strategies the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) had previously prepared.
He said the in-country relocation of Filipinos away from the capital, Kyiv, may not be safe as Russia has already conducted its attacks on the different areas of Ukraine.
More than 40 Filipinos were evacuated from Kyiv to Lviv, Ukraine, according to the DFA on Saturday. They are now awaiting repatriation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday. — VBL, GMA News