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Pinoy Abroad

First batch of Filipino repatriates from Gaza now in PH

The first batch of Filipinos repatriated from conflict-torn Gaza arrived in the Philippines on Friday, Rod Vega reported on Super Radyo dzBB.

The group, composed of 34 Filipinos and one Palestinian national, arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 at 4:20 p.m. via Qatar Airways flight QR932.

According to Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega, they are part of the 40 Filipinos who crossed the Gaza-Egypt border earlier this week.

De Vega said six Filipinos remain in Cairo, Egypt, of whom three are married to Egyptian citizens and three are pregnant women.

The repatriates will receive assistance from the DFA, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Meanwhile, the DFA said 14 of the 56 Filipinos who had already crossed over to Egypt eventually decided to stay and not proceed to Cairo after their Palestinian spouses were not provided security clearance.

"Our embassy officials are convincing these 14 not to remain behind in Gaza and to join the rest of the Filipinos who will leave in the next batch," the DFA said.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier said a group composed of 56 Filipinos had fled the war-ravaged Gaza Strip into Egypt through the Rafah crossing.

The Filipinos were supposed to travel to the Egyptian capital of Cairo, where they would take flights back to the Philippines. —VBL, GMA Integrated News