108 of 112 AFP Men Returning from Liberia

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday said 108 of the 112 Philippine Peacekeeping Forces in Liberia are due to return tomorrow, Tuesday, and are Ebola-free.

Colonel Roberto Ancan, commanding officer of the Peacekeeping Operations Center in Tarlac, said four Filipino peacekeepers will be left behind in Liberia for a few more days.

Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, the AFP public affairs office (PAO) chief, said the 108 arriving tomorrow “have all passed the Ebola screening test conducted by the medical staff of the United Nations on November 8.”

The medical procedure is a requirement for all UN Peacekeepers before their retun to their home countries.

Colonel Ancan said he has received a copy of the clinical assessments.

The returning troops are 100 percent medically and physically fit, he said. “They are not infected, not exposed to Ebola.”

Upon their arrival tomorrow, the troopes will undergo a 21-day quarantine on Caballo island at the mouth of Manila Bay near Corregidor. The quarantine is just a precautionary measure, he said.

Gen. Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr., AFP chief of staff, has directed the Joint Task Group Liberia to provide the peacekeepers with recreational facilities aside from the medical facilities that are needed during their stay on Caballo island.

Colonel Ancan said he has sent to 250 generators to the island camp to ensure tht there will be electricity in the island during the peacekeepers’ stay.

Ancan said families of the 108 all-Air Force Philippine Peacekeeping Contingent to Liberia will be allowed to meet them when they arrive at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City in a chartered plane.

“Makikita sila ng family, yun lang we will observe the protocol,” said Ancan. This means that “there is no handshake” and there will “one-meter distance” between the soldiers and their families.

“Yung protocol lang is no handshake… one meter distance pag naguusap, yun lang naman,” said the Peacekeeping Operations Center commander.

He said four personnel will take charge of the AFP-owned equipment that will also be transported back to the country. (With a report from AP)


(Source: Manila Bulletin)

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