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President Duterte orders military for repatriation of Filipinos in Iran and Iraq as tensions grows

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the military to prepare for the evacuation of all Filipinos in the Middle East as tension from United States and Iran grows.

Duterte held an emergency meeting with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and officials of the military and police to prepare Philippine aircraft and ships for the possible evacuation of Filipinos.

"President Duterte ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to be prepared to deploy military assets to repatriate overseas Filipinos in the Middle East, particularly from Iran and Iraq, at any moment's notice,” said Senator Bong Go.

There are about 7,600 Filipinos combines in Iran and Iraq.

Tensions between the US and Iran escalated after a US drone strike killed military commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad and Iran condemned US President Donald Trump on Sunday as a "terrorist in a suit."

Other Asian nations with large populations of expatriate labor in middle east may face similar decisions amid the rapidly escalating tensions. (Photo courtesy of Sen Bong Go)


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