MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has said it will decide whether the Palestinian spouses of Filipinos in Gaza will be allowed entry into the Philippines.
"In connection with a recent media report on the entry into the Philippines of Palestinian spouses of Filipinos in Gaza, the [DFA] wishes to clarify that the entry of foreign nationals into the Philippines is subject to national immigration laws and is a matter for the Philippine government to determine. Their entry into the Philippines, particularly spouses of Filipinos, is a concern of the Philippine government," the DFA said on its Web site.
Sixteen Filipinos were recently evacuated from Gaza back to the Philippines, including three Filipino mothers and 13 children. The women were married to Palestinian men, who were left behind as they were barred from leaving troubled Gaza Strip.
The Philippine ambassador to Israel, Petronila Garcia, recently said that 91 Filipinos were still in Gaza, which continues to be rocked by fighting between Israeli and Hamas forces.
She said the 91 opted to stay either because they did not want to leave their Palestinian families or they were afraid to get caught in the crossfire. - Kimberly Jane T. Tan, GMANews.TV