13 December 2023
PH Gaza ceasefire vote should mean Palestinian refugees support
Migrante-International welcomes the Philippine government’s vote favoring a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, which was approved on December 12, New York time.
This vote is a recognition that the bombings, massacres and genocide being carried out by Israel with the backing of the US in Gaza have gone too far, abetted by the abstention of the Philippines and other countries in a vote for a “humanitarian truce” between Israel and Hamas months ago.
The Philippine government’s vote unites the country with 152 UN member-states who want a stop to the genocide being enforced by Israel and shows the extreme isolation of the US and Israel even in the UN on the issue of Palestine.
This vote should mean that the Philippine government provides Palestinian refugees in the Philippines faster and better forms of support.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr should mobilize the Inter-Agency Committee on the Protection of Refugees led by the Department of Justice to provide coordinated, immediate and comprehensive forms of support to the Palestinian refugees.
Marcos Jr. should ensure that all protection to refugees stated in Executive Order No. 163, February 28, 2022 be given to the Palestinian refugees in the country. Palestinian refugees in the Philippines should immediately be recognized as refugee families in crisis.
So far, based on our conversations with Palestinian refugees and their Filipino family members who were repatriated from Gaza, the Philippine government agencies have not undertaken effective coordination and response to address their needs. Concerned community members and civil society groups were faster to respond to the immediate needs of Palestinian refugees for temporary shelter, food and medical attention.
The Philippine government has so far neglected to provide the Palestinian refugees’ needs since their arrival a month ago for stable housing, livelihood and employment. The financial aid provided to Palestinian refugees is meagre and does little to meet their basic and long-term needs.
Ultimately, we call on the Marcos Jr government to continue standing for immediate peace in Gaza, for an end to the US-backed Israeli genocide of Palestinians, and for a free Palestine.###