Marcos admits ‘security issues’ in US request to take in Afghans

Bea Cupin

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Marcos admits ‘security issues’ in US request to take in Afghans

OATH-TAKING CEREMONY. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. administers the oath of office to newly promoted generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in a ceremony at Malacañang on June 19, 2023.

Rey Baniquet/PNA

Despite the security, legal, and logistical issues that are still being discussed, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. says the Philippines 'wants to help'

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday, June 29, said there were “many security issues” surrounding the United States’ request for Manila to take in Afghan refugees waiting for their immigration visas to enter the Western superpower.

Still, Marcos emphasized the “long tradition” of the Philippines in accepting refugees.

“They are Afghan nationals who are being resettled by the United States, in the United States or other places. We are only going to be…a transition area,” he said in a chance interview.

The US, in October 2022, lodged a request for the Philippines to take in Afghans who are waiting for their special immigration visas. Talks are still ongoing between the two countries, and the details remain unresolved, such as how many would be arriving and for how long they would be staying.

Marcos said he would cap the number of Afghans at no more than 1,000.

The President’s cousin, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, expects a recommendation from the Department of Foreign Affairs to reach Malacañang by mid-July.

As urgent as the security issues, said Marcos, are the “legal and logistical issues.”

“That’s what we are talking about and we are continuing because we want to help. We want to help,” added the Philippine President.

The Afghans in question are those who worked with and for the US during its occupation of Afghanistan. Their lives are now in danger following Washington’s withdrawal from the war-torn area and the Taliban’s subsequent return to power.

“Even if you say that the Americans pay for everything, who will handle all of that? The Filipino…. There are still quite a few issues that we have to hammer out with the Americans,” Marcos said. –

1 comment

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  1. NO

    Nice to see Marcos doing the right thing on this.

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.