Gov’t offers to repatriate Pinoys amid civil unrest in Nicaragua

MANILA The Philippine government is ready to shoulder the repatriation of Filipinos who wanted to come home amid the continuing civil unrest in Nicaragua, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

We would like to assure our kababayan in Nicaragua that we are ready to fly them home anytime, DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.

In the meantime, we urge them to remain vigilant and to be ready for any eventuality," he added.

There are at least 86 Filipinos in Nicaragua, but none have so far been reported to be affected by the unrest, the agency noted.

However, three Filipinos have already availed of the DFA's voluntary repatriation offer. The three were flown out of Nicaragua's capital, Managua, on July 8 and arrived in Manila on July 10.

Cayetano said the Philippine Embassy in Mexico, led by Ambassador Demetrio Tuason, continues to monitor the situation in the said country.

The envoy earlier dispatched a team, led by Consul Ma. Carmela Teresa Cabrera, to Managua to assess the situation on the ground.

According to reports, more than a hundred perished since the revolt against President Daniel Ortega started on April 18.

The continued protest to unseat Ortega was triggered by his administration's plan to reduce pension benefits and increase taxes to support Nicaragua's social security system.

Early this week, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the Nicaraguan government to revitalize a national political dialogue to end the crisis.

It is essential that violence must stop immediately and that the political dialogue, the national dialogue, be revitalized because only a political solution is acceptable for Nicaragua, he said.

He underscored it was an essential responsibility of the State to protect its citizens, and this basic principle cannot be forgotten, especially when, unfortunately, we have a death toll that is absolutely shocking. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency