MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte will side with the United States if Filipinos in the Middle East were “harmed” due to the escalating tension between the country’s military ally and Iran, Malacañang said Tuesday.
“Hindi tayo magiging neutral. (We will not be neutral.) The President was very specific in saying last night that if the Filipinos are harmed, he will side with the Americans,” presidential spokesman Salvador said in a Palace briefing.
“If they will harm the Filipinos, then the President will not sit down idly and watch,” he added.
The President earlier ordered the military to prepare its air and naval assets for possible repatriation of OFWs in the Middle East after the US launched an airstrike that killed Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani, in Iraq.
He also created a special working committee to draw up plans and measures for the evacuation of Filipino workers in the Middle East should the rising tension between the US and Iran blows up into war.
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