GOV’T URGED TO PULL OUT PINOY SOLDIERS IN LIBERIA
• August 18, 2014
• Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
• Published in Top Stories
HOUSE independent bloc leader and Leyte (1st District) Rep. Ferdinand Martin “FM” G. Romualdez yesterday said the lives and safety of 115 Filipino soldiers in Liberia should be given due consideration by the government because of the Ebola epidemic. Romualdez noted that the the Ebola virus disease (EVD) is expected to wreak havoc in West Africa for the next six months and joined lawmakers in urging the government to pull out Filipino peacekeepers in Liberia.
“If Ebola continues to thrive up to six months in West Africa, we better pull out our soldiers in Liberia. Their safety and lives must be given priority now and that is a better option to do now than continue risking them there with the dreaded disease,” Romualdez stressed, adding that the government should consider the recommendation of the Department of National Defense (DND) to pull out the Filipino troops in Liberia.
Romualdez reiterated his call for the officials of the Department of Health (DoH) to double their efforts in ensuring that the country remains EVD-free.
“We commend them for their work, but our health officials should continue to be vigilant and should double their efforts in ensuring an Ebola-free Philippines,” Romualdez stressed.
Last week, the House committee on overseas workers affairs conducted a hearing on Ebola to ensure that the dreaded disease ravaging parts of Africa spares Filipinos especially overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Isabela Rep. Rodolfo “Rodito” Albano III, Albay Rep. Al Francis Bichara, and Magdalo party-list Rep. Francisco Ashley Acedillo agreed with Romualdez.
Albano, a member of the Commission on Appointments (CA) representing the minority bloc, said the government should not ignore the health security of the peacekeepers.
“The government should order the pullout and send a medical mission into that area. I am asking the government to pull them out. It’s time for them to go home,” said Bichara, who chairs the House committee on foreign affairs,” said Albano.
Acedillo echoed the necessity of “temporarily” sending Filipino peacekeepers back to the country.
“No preconditions needed. We should pull them out for at least six months or when the WHO World Health Organization) has contained the spread of the virus,” said Acedillo