OFWs vigilant amid rising tension between Saudi Arabia, Iran

Jan. 05, 2016

DAVAO CITY – Filipino migrant workers in Saudi Arabia are apprehensive, but vigilant amid rising tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Saudi Arabia cut its diplomatic ties with Iran following condemnation on Saudi’s execution of one of 47 people including an influential Shiite cleric who was critical to the Saudi royal family.

John Leonard Monterona, coordinator of Migrante in Middle East, said “most of the overseas Filipino workers in Saudi expressed apprehension “but vigilant due to the perceived volatile political rift between the Saudi government and Iran.”

Monterona said “so far there are no huge demonstrations inside Kingdom that will undermine its internal peace and order situation.”

Monterona, who is based in Saudi’s capital, Riyadh, added that if there were demonstrations, it was done “outside Saudi Arabia”.

He said they are advising all Filipinos in the Kingdom “to shun activities that could be perceived as terroristic act amid the reported 44 suspected terrorist nabbed last week, four of whom are Filipinos.”

“Based on estimates, there are about 1.2 million OFWs, legal and undocumented, in Saudi Arabia making it the No.1 OFW destination,” he said.

Monterona also called on the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to validate the report.

He added that the Philippine government “should keep an eye on Saudi-Iran rift and should consider readying its evacuation and emergency plans to secure the safety of its nationals working and living in the Kingdom.” (davaotoday.com)

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