Claim: Bongbong tells the DFA to repatriate Pinoys in Ukraine immediately.
The facts: This is a case of Johnny-come-lately for Bongbong. Days, even weeks, before BBM’s call, the Department of Foreign Affairs was already in the thick of things to bring back the Filipinos in Ukraine.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has been working on the free repatriation of Filipinos in Ukraine amid escalating tensions in the region. To date, there are more than 300 Filipinos living there.
As of February 18, the DFA has repatriated six Filipinos from Ukraine.
Last week, the Philippine Embassy in Warsaw, which exercises jurisdiction over Ukraine, also deployed a consular team to Kyiv to enable faster coordination with the Filipino community and relevant authorities.
DFA’s statement comes as tensions mount in the region following the announcement of President Vladimir Putin that Russia would officially recognize certain areas of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states. (https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1168372
On February 25, 37 Filipinos were transported out of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv for repatriation. They travelled to the western city of Lviv where they will be transported to the border of neighboring Poland.
The number increased to 40 as of Saturday afternoon (February 26).
“As of now, there are 37 Filipinos on the road, on the way to Lviv eventually for repatriation,” DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said in a Laging Handa briefing.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locson Jr. traveled to Poland to oversee the repatriation of Filipinos evacuating from Ukraine on February 26.
Why we fact checked this: The DFA is committed to assisting the remaining Filipinos in Kyiv and in other parts of Ukraine in order to bring them out of harm’s way. A team from the Philippine Embassy in Warsaw, which holds jurisdiction over Ukraine, set up a base in Lviv to facilitate the repatriation of Filipino nationals via a humanitarian corridor established between Philippine authorities and Poland.
It is unfair of Marcos Jr. to make it appear that the DFA is not fulfilling their mandate by admonishing them to do their job.