Quarantine island for peacekeepers readied


THE 110 officers and men of the Filipino peacekeeping force returning from Ebola-stricken Liberia will be quarantined in a military camp in Caballo Island instead of in Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac, a source in Camp Aguinaldo said on Thursday.

Col. Roberto Ancan, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Peacekeeping Operations Center commander, refused to confirm the report, saying only that the military is preparing for the quarantine.

But the source, who is familiar with the quarantine plans but is not authorized to speak on the matter, said the rocky island, a former US observation camp during World War 2, was chosen because of its isolated location.

Only Navy personnel and civilian employees are stationed in Caballo, which is at the entrance of Manila Bay, near Corregidor.

“We have troops there. If there are civilians there, they are our employees. It’s off limits to civilians,” the source said.

Col. Edgard Arevalo, Navy spokesman said the island is good, secure and can be easily prepared.

Arevalo said the confirmation on where the Filipino “blue helmets” will be quarantined will come from AFP General Headquarters.

Pressed if the island is the real destination of the Filipino peacekeepers from Liberia, Ancan let on that preparations are being done by a task group but refused to disclose the place.

The group will be headed by Navy Captain Luzviminda Camacho.

The Armed Forces earlier dropped its plan to bring the peacekeepers to Camp O’Donnell.

Ancan said none of the troops has exhibited the symptoms of Ebola so far.

The source said the island has been inspected and repairs are being done for “unique requirements.”

“The technical requirements of DOH (Department of Health) will be followed. The government is making all preparations for the safety and comfort of our personnel,” the source added.


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