Guam, South Korea contingency plans in place for Filipino residents

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CONTINGENCY MEASURES for the Filipino community in Guam are already in place after North Korea made a threat to launch missiles at the US state last week. In a statement yesterday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano has communicated with Consul General Marciano R. de Borja in Agana, Guam, as well as Ambassador Raul S. Hernandez in Seoul, South Korea regarding the matter. Around 42,835 Filipinos live in Guam while 65,000 are in South Korea. Both Mr. De Borja and Mr. Hernandez assured the DFA Secretary that plans are in place in case the situation escalates. At the same time, Mr. Cayetano echoed President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s call for both the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to exercise restraint. Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto C. Abella, in a separate statement on Sunday, said the Philippines is standing firm on “its call for continued exercise of self-restraint in order to de-escalate the tension and to refrain from actions that may aggravate the situation.” During last week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ Ministerial Meetings, Mr. Cayetano handed to DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho the regional bloc’s statement on the Korean Peninsula situation, which calls on North Korea to comply fully with its obligations under all relevant United Nations resolutions and international laws. — Mario M. Banzon