Trillanes suggests suspending deployment of peacekeeping troops to Ebola-striken West African countries

By , on October 20, 2014


Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. Photo courtesy of Trillanes' Facebook page.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. Photo courtesy of Trillanes’ Facebook page.

MANILA — Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said that it is better to suspend temporarily sending troops to West African countries which have been contaminated with ebola virus.

To date, Trillanes said, the Philippines is still considered “ebola-free” according to the Department of Health. The Defense Department should not send any more peacekeeping troops to the West African countries until after the problem is resolved.

More than a hundred Filipino peacekeeping soldiers arrived last Tuesday from Liberia and they were not allowed to see their relatives at least for 21 days when government health workers quarantined them. They were not also given hero’s welcome.

“That’s the right thing to do. We should do all means to prevent the spread of the deadly virus,” Trillanes told Philippines News Agency in a chance interview.

Premier airports should be strict to all passengers arriving from countries plague by ebola. They need to pass through thermal scanner. Once detected with high fever, they will be segregated from other passengers and be quarantined to be sure that they cannot spread the deadly disease to other persons.

The former navy junior officer turned politician said that if the government decided to send another batch of peacekeepers to countries contaminated with ebola virus, “our soldiers should be “equipped with protective suits.”

Another batch of peacekeepers from Liberia are expected to arrive on November 10. They too will be shipped to quarantine upon arrival and if they are found negative to the virus, they will be allowed to join their loved ones and be given hero’s welcome.

DOH said in their report that Liberia is the most hard-hit West African country in the current outbreak of the deadly ebola virus.

The Department of Foreign Affairs will raise the crisis alert in Ebola-hit countries to Level 3 by mid-November to signal the start of the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers there.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma recently was quoted as saying that the government is undertaking all necessary measures to protect the health and well-being of our nationals or citizens in keeping with the established protocols on managing the Ebola virus disease.

At least 1,755 Filipinos will be affected by the change in the alert level: 1,044 in Sierra Leone, 200 in Liberia, and 511 in Guinea.

Trillanes emphasized that proper protocols need to be observed upon the return of peacekeepers from countries affected by the deadly virus.

Should health workers declare our peacekeepers safe, that is only the time they will be allowed to go back to their families.