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Pinoy Abroad

Philippines raises alert level 2 in Myanmar

The Philippines on Wednesday raised alert level 2 for Myanmar, restricting non-essential movement of Filipinos there due to ongoing pro-democracy protests against the military junta.

"In view of the developing critical situation in Myanmar, the Department of Foreign Affairs has raised the alert level for Myanmar to Alert Level 2 as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of the remaining 1,273 Filipinos there," the DFA said in a statement.

Level 2, it said, "entails restriction of non-essential movements, avoiding of places of protest, and preparation for possible evacuation."

Only returning workers with existing contracts shall be allowed to travel in Myanmar.

Since this month, the Philippines has brought home Filipino workers in batches via chartered flights.

Myanmar's military takeover sparked pro-democracy protests across the country since early February, defying government ban on mass gatherings.

On Feb. 1, Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi was detained following a military coup that ended a decade of civilian rule.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won by landslide in a general election last November, but the military claimed massive voter fraud.

"The Department reiterates its advice to Filipinos in Myanmar to exercise due caution, monitor developments through reputable sources, avoid places of protests, and observe the guidance of the Philippine Embassy in Yangon," the DFA said.—LDF, GMA News