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Arrest OFWs who fled COVID quarantine facilities says DFA chief

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. called for the arrest of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) on Monday. Those who escaped from the Philippines Coast Guard (PCG) quarantine facilities.

Locsin said on Twitter, “Arrest them, contact trace, and test everyone they got in contact with.”

Arrest them, contact trace, and test everyone they got in contact with. AND take PHOTOS of their quarantine facilities and the CONDITIONS THEREIN from which they escaped. There are so many motels out there because of the odd Filipino pastime we can get the owners to reopen. Said on the post.

According to PCG spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo, the OFWs, some of whom have tested positive for the coronavirus, left their quarantine facility even before their test results were released.

Balilo said, Charges could be filed against the OFWs for violating the Bayanihan to Heal as One-Act. 

On the other hand, Locsin also suggested that photos of subpar quarantine facilities where the OFWs were transferred to should also be taken.

“(T)ake PHOTOS of their quarantine facilities and the CONDITIONS THEREIN from which they escaped. There are so many motels out there because of the odd Filipino pastime we can get the owners to reopen,” Locsin said.

All Filipino migrant workers returning to the country are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine and rapid antibody testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) upon arrival.

So far, there are now around 25,000 OFWs that have been repatriated since February amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported 2,397 COVID-19 cases among overseas Filipinos.  Two hundred seventy seven 277 have died while 1,294 other have recovered.

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