No evacuation plan

July 19, 2006 at 2:56 pm Leave a comment

Even if we move all Filipino migrant workers in Lebanon to different churches, miracles won’t be enough to save them from Israeli bombs. The government should stop dragging its feet to facilitate an immediate evacuation of our workers in Lebanon.

Instead of buying off support in Congress or hosting ‘envelopmental’ dinners with some Bishops, the President should instead use her resources to finance the immediate evacuation of our workers in Lebanon. Since the conflict continues to worsen, evacuation is our only option.

It is likewise surprising that the Philippine embassy in Beirut has no clear evacuation plan for workers. Conflicts in the Middle East are not new and at the very least our embassies in conflict-prone countries should always be ready with exit plans. They don’t have to wait for the first bomb to be dropped before they begin thinking of where to bring our workers or how they can safely get out of the country.

Since our country relies on migrant workers, their welfare and not colonial servility should be the cornerstone of our diplomatic policies. Mimicking the position of US President George Bush on the conflict will prove to be disastrous. At the same time, in a conflict where the extremism of the Israeli government’s actions has complicated the situation, silence means condoning the violence and the attacks against civilians. The best diplomatic stance is to be independent from the US and urge for an immediate ceasefire. While obviously the efforts of the UN to maintain peace between Israel and the Lebanese group Hezbollah remain insufficient, a multilateral initiative is still necessary to stop the violence and secure long-term peace in the region.

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Entry filed under: General.

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