Philippines tells Afghan asylum seekers: You have a place here
MANILA — The Philippines is willing to receive asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Malacañang said on Tuesday, amid unrest in the now-Taliban controlled territory.
The Afghan capital fell to Taliban insurgents on Sunday, while the Afghan military and government disintegrated. President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, triggering panic in Kabul, with thousands mobbing the airport in a desperate attempt to flee.
The Philippines has welcomed asylum seekers at various crises, including World War 2 and the establishment of the communist regime in China, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
"Since time immemorial po, the Philippines has had jurisprudence, even before the Convention on Refugees, welcoming asylum seekers," he said in a press briefing.
"Lahat po ng kinakailangan ng kalinga dahil sila po ay pini-persecute sa kanilang bayan, meron po kayong lugar dito sa Pilipinas," added the official.
(All those who need refuge because they are persecuted in their country, you have a place here in the Philippines.)
Asked whether or not the Philippines would establish diplomatic channels with the Taliban, Roque said, "We leave that wholly to the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs)."
The Taliban imposed draconian rules on women during its 1996-2001 rule, including banning education for girls, which was ended by US invasion.
The guerrillas on Sunday took over Kabul with surprising ease days before President Joe Biden was to complete a final withdrawal of US forces, ending America's longest war after 20 years.
Videos taken from the airport showed hundreds of Afghans flooding onto the runways and trying to impede the takeoff of one of the US transports. Two armed Afghan men were killed by US forces as thousands sought to board flights.
– With a report from Agence France-Presse