(Eagle News)–The government on Wednesday, Jan. 15, began the mandatory repatriation of Filipinos from Iraq, as tensions between the United States and Iran brewed following a US airstrike that killed a top Iran military official.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said two groups will be coming from Baghdad and Erbil and will arrive today.
The first group from Baghdad composed of seven adults and two minors was supposed to arrive yesterday, the DFA said, but it was held by Iraqi immigration officials at the Baghdad International Airport for alleged visa fraud.
The second group is composed of four adults.
The DFA said both groups will be transiting Doha, Qatar before arriving in Manila.
“The repatriates arriving today comprise the first batch of Filipinos coming home after the government ordered mandatory repatriation,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr., has said that the DFA was deploying Rapid Response Teams to the Middle East, especially to Iraq and Iran, to help facilitate the repatriation of Filipinos.