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Pinoy Abroad

Filipinos in Russia resort to panic buying amid ‘armed mutiny’

Several Filipinos in Russia resorted to panic buying amid reports of an armed rebellion by a private mercenary group, with the Philippine Embassy now coordinating with the estimated 10,000 overseas workers in the country.

According to overseas worker Cecil Hernandez, a number of her fellow Filipinos started to panic despite the general atmosphere seeming peaceful, aside from the closure of several roads.

“‘Yun pong mga ibang friends ko talagang nagpa-panic, they were going to north, tapos talagang ‘yung karamihan nag-panic buying,” she said in a report by Mav Gonzales on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday.

“Around Kremlin, the Red Square, so talagang nag-red alert po sila, may mga barricades tapos sarado ‘yung mga ibang daan, ibang metro lines, pero wala naman po, seems peaceful,” she added.

(Some of my friends panicked, they were going to the north, and most of them went panic buying.

Around the Kremlin, Red Square, you could see security forces were on red alert. There were barricades, and some of the roads and metro lines were closed but seemed peaceful.)

For its part, the Philippine Embassy was coordinating with Filipinos based in Russia, especially the 11 stationed in Rustov-on-Don located close to the Ukraine-Russia border.

“Umiwas sa mga matataong lugar. Hindi natin masasabi kung magkakaroon ng similar na mutiny or kaganapan against the government, but we are not taking any sides. The President has said that we are neutral,” Philippine Ambassador to Russia Igor Bailen said in the same report.

(Avoid crowded areas. We cannot say if there will be similar mutinies or events against the government, but we are not taking any sides. The President has said that we are neutral.)

The Embassy over the weekend asked Filipinos in Russia to remain vigilant and take precautions, and cautioned them against putting out political opinions on social media.

This comes as rebellious Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said he had already taken control of Rustov-on-Don as part of an attempt to oust the military leadership.

Prigozhin had called on Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov to come and see him in Rostov over what he said was a disastrous leadership of the war against Ukraine.

He earlier said he had 25,000 fighters moving towards Moscow to “restore justice,” alleging that the military had killed members of his Wagner private militia in an air strike. The defense ministry has denied this.

For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to punish Prigozhin’s group, saying those who stood on the “path of betrayal” would “suffer inevitable punishment.” — DVM, GMA Integrated News