DOJ is still waiting for asylum applications from Afghan refugees

MANILA, Philippines – Justice Minister Menardo Guevarra said Wednesday the Justice Department (DOJ) has not yet received an application for refugee status from Afghan nationals who fled their country after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

“At the moment we’ve only recorded a handful [of Afghans]. But they are only here as temporary accommodation until they are permanently relocated, ”Guevarra said in a Viber message.

“[Since] the Afghan nationals who are here are to be relocated to another country … they do not need to apply for refugee status in the Philippines, ”he said.

Guevarra issued the clarification after President Duterte previously confirmed during the 76th Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr. that a group of Afghans, including women and children, had arrived in the country two weeks ago.

—MARLON RAMOS

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