PH defers sending new hires to Bangkok


The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday suspended the deployment of new hires to Bangkok and surrounding provinces in light of the alert crisis level 2 raised there.

The Thai government has declared a 60-day state of emergency in Bangkok and its surrounding areas.

On Thursday, the Foreign Affairs department raised alert level 2 there because of the increasingly volatile situation in the country, following protests that started in October last year.

The suspension of the deployment of new hires will affect Bangkok, Nonthaburi Province, Lad Lum Kaew District of Pathumthani Province and Bang Phli District of Samutprakarn Province.

Alert level 2 is issued when there are real threats to the life, security, and property of Filipinos “arising from internal disturbance or external threat.”

Under alert level 2, Filipinos in Bangkok and the surrounding areas are instructed to restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places and prepare for evacuation.

“While there has been an effort to maintain a state of normalcy in the Thai capital, the situation remains fluid and volatile  particularly in anti-government protest areas,” the department said.

It has been more than a week since demonstrators attempted to shut down the capital as they block major roads leading to government offices.

The protests are still part of the opposition’s strategy to oust Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, whose brother, Thaksin, enjoys the strong support of the rural people.

Thaksin, who was ousted as prime minister in 2006, is in a self-imposed exile following his conviction in a corruption case.

The protests are primarily aimed against Thaksin’s considerable influence on Thailand’s political fabric that stemmed from the elite’s and the educated middle class’ apprehensions over Thaksin’s power among the rural poor. BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON


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