2 ships in Oman for repatriation of Filipinos from Middle East

TWO military ships with Philippine troops on board have arrived in Oman as part of the repatriation process for Filipinos who wish to go home amid the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

The Philippine Navy said the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS16) and BRP Davao Del Sur (LD602), which carried the Naval Task Force 82 contingent headed by Colonel Noel Beleran, docked at Sultan Qaboos Port on Wednesday afternoon, February 5, 2020.

“The two navy vessels will serve as a sea-based platform for the government to process and facilitate the repatriation of displaced OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers),” the Navy said in statement.

“Specifics and other details about the repatriation are expected to be finalized after the scheduled joint AFP-PNP command conference to be presided by the commander in chief, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in Malacanang in which NTF 82 will take part via video teleconferencing together with Philippine envoy to Oman, Ambassador Narciso Castañeda,” it added.

Meantime, Beleran said the troops are all in high spirits.

"The troops are very happy and in high spirits since this event serves as another milestone for our Navy that we can already transcend across the deep waters of Indian ocean or the Arabian Sea," he said.

Tension between the United States and Iran continues to simmer following the killing of Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani during a US strike in January 2020. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)