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Legarda: Ensure Safety of Filipinos in South Korea

April 1, 2013

Sen. Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, today called for active preparation by the government to secure the safety of Filipinos in South Korea as the declaration of state of war by North Korea directly puts at least 40,000 Filipinos in South Korea in harm’s way.

“Our country needs to prepare for this. We need to secure the safety of Filipinos in South Korea,” Legarda said as she welcomes the early activation by the Department of Foreign Affairs of contingency plans for Filipinos in South Korea.

“I hope that the appropriate means to deliver them to safety should the situation arise are available. We cannot wait for the situation to worsen before the details of our contingency plan are firmed up — from activation of emergency area coordinators, conducting resource inventory, designating holding areas, and identification of safe evacuation routes,” Legarda stressed.

She said the declaration of state of war by North Korea against its southern neighbor is another flashpoint in the region, not to mention the conflicting territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea.

“The uncertainties and dangers exist. All these could lead to regional instability and erode the progress realized by countries in the region, including the Philippines. It is hoped that restraint and greater sense of responsibility to regional and world peace will reign over rising tensions in the region,” Legarda concluded.