PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - President Aquino has asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to contact the government of Cyprus about the possibility of using their country as a temporary refuge for Filipinos caught in the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza.
"We don't think that it will happen. Pero we just want to be prepared na we've touched base with the Cypriot government in case we will bring our people there as temporary staging area for repatriation in case it gets worse," he told reporters.
President Aquino noted that there are a little more than 100 Filipinos in Gaza, and 41,000 in Israel. He said many of them do not want to be repatriated, and cannot be forced to leave.
Still, the government has sent a rapid response team to the conflict-stricken area and continues to prepare for the worst, he added.