Aug 152014
President Benigno Aquino III is still studying available options to ensure the protection of Filipino peacekeepers facing possible threats in Liberia and the Golan Heights, Malacañang said Saturday.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said this following reports that the Department of National Defense is mulling recommending pulling out Filipino peacekeepers from those areas.

“We’re still trying to see what are available protection to soldiers there. My impression is the president has not made a decision yet,” Valte said on government-run dzRB radio.

She said Aquino last year had also asked about the options to ensure the safety of Filipino peacekeepers in Golan Heights, after some of them were abducted.

Valte said that once Aquino is briefed on the available protection to Filipino soldiers, he can continue evaluating proposals – including pulling out the Filipino peacekeepers.

“Once that question is answered, tuloy ang pag-evaluate ng pangulo sa proposal,” she said.

“(S)iyempre ayaw niya malagay sa peligro ang ating mga sundalo lalo dahil sa pagkalat ng merong mga maraming reported cases and deaths related to Ebola sa Liberia. He wants to know available safeguards in place,” she added.

Earlier reports indicated the DND is considering the pullout of Filipino soldiers personnel serving as United Nations peacekeepers in Golan Heights and Liberia.

It cited the worsening security situation in the Middle East and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Joel Locsin /LBG, GMA News

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