MANILA - Filipinos in coup-torn Myanmar can go home regardless of their reasons to do so amid the COVID-19 pandemic, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs said Monday.
Earlier in the day, 139 repatriates from Myanmar, including 11 children and 2 senior citizens, arrived in the Philippines.
"'Yung mga gustong umuwi, hindi na natin tinitingnan 'yung rason. Basta kailangan niyo ng tulong … iuuwi natin lahat ng gustong umuwi," DFA Usec. Brigido Dulay told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(Those who want to go home, we won't ask their reasons. If you need help … we will repatriate those who want to go home.)
"Kung ano man 'yung rason na gusto niyong umuwi, 'wag na natin pagusapan 'yun," he added.
(Whatever reasons they have to want to go home, we don't need to talk about it.)
Dulay, undersecretary for civilian security and consular concerns, said the department understands the need of most Filipinos in Myanmar to return to their homeland.
Myanmar has been knee-deep in tensions since its military staged a coup, detaining civilian leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi, claiming the country's previous elections was a "fraud" after their favored candidate lost to the ruling party, National League for Democracy (NLD).
Myanmar military chief General Min Aung Hlaing and imposed a year-long state of emergency, sparking massive protests nationwide.
More than 384 people have been detained since the coup, the monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said, in a wave of mostly nightly arrests.
Some of Myanmar's business establishments shut down due to the tensions, that exacerbated the losses the country incurred from the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
The United Nations and state leaders, including US President Joe Biden, condemned the coup and demanded to relinquish their power and restore Suu Kyi and her co-leaders to their posts.