EDITORIAL: The “Why’s” of The 50k Afghan Victims of War
The USA with its western allies lost their war in Afghanistan. In the absence of an exit strategy they left the country in haste and abandoned a people whom they professed to save, and some people who worked for their interest during the war. Now there are estimated 50,000 Afghans in distress and seeking humanitarian assistance. The US government wants us to host them in our land, at least temporarily while the US will be working on their documents.
This paper’s stand depends on the acceptability of answers to the following questions.
Are they real refugees? Asylum seekers? Or rebels fleeing their country? Or, are they ordinary people who are victims of the US and its western allies, war in Afghanistan? Is it true that most of them are former employees of the US or the UN in Afghanistan?
Why are they not seeking assistance directly from the Philippine Government? Why is it that the US government is the one working as an intermediary for asylum or refugee requests?
Why is the US not ready to host their temporary stay, if it is true that it is only temporary? Why not ask the US’s western allies to host them? Why select the Philippines as the host country?
Why can’t the US send them to their many territories?
Why is the US positive that we will accept their request? What right does the US have to request the sovereign Philippine government to accept their former war constituents?
What are the demographics of the group? Adults, children? Mixed nationalities? What are their religious affiliations? What will be the social, economic, and political beliefs and orientations?
Do we have the right to inquire about their personal status? Their culture? Habits? How are we going to determine their personal backgrounds?
How long are they going to stay? Where are they going to stay in the Philippines? Do we have a definite and secure place where they could stay?
What will be the responsibilities of the Philippine government to them? Who will shoulder their expenses while in the Philippines?
What is the legal reason why the Philippines is obligated to accept them here?
The Philippines as a sovereign state has the obligation to safeguard its citizens, it has a history of humanitarian service to other countries that have directly requested refugee and asylum allowed by our national policies and international obligations.
As a sovereign country, we have the power to decide who are we going to help, and who are not qualified to benefit from our kindness and benevolence.