MANILA - The Philippines will not meddle in the Arab states' row with neighboring Qatar, saying these countries have their own mechanisms to resolve their problems, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.
"Our policy is not only independent foreign policy. But our policy is friends to all, enemies to none. And we do not get involved with their internal situation because we don't also want other countries to get involved [in our internal affairs]," Cayetano said in Tokyo, Japan.
On Monday, a half-dozen countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with the energy-rich emirate, accusing it of backing Tehran and Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.
Qatar has said it does not support terrorism and the rupture was founded on "baseless fabricated claims."
Doha now faces an acute economic plight as it relies on Gulf neighbors for 80 percent of its food imports.
Cayetano vowed to continue to monitor the situation in Qatar to ensure the safety of the thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) there.
Overseas Filipino workers from Qatar who are on vacation in the Philippines have been asked to return to work so they will not lose their jobs.
"Both DOLE and the DFA has made an assessment and a decision that those who are just on vacation in the Philippines can go back to Qatar because baka mawalan pa sila ng trabaho," he said. With Reuters