6 Filipinos who fled Afghanistan stranded in UK

The escape to Kabul, Afghanistan, of 6 Filipino workers of Hart Security Limited, a British company, is like a scene in the film.

Workers were caught up in the unrest that ensued as the Taliban recaptured large parts of Afghanistan and its capital Kabul.

The Taliban has pointed a gun at Mark Suela, 37 years old, an Explosive Detection Canine Handler, while he was walking at the airport.

“Nung lumabas kami wala na kaming mga weapon. Na-disarm na kami. Nung sinabing clear, mabilisan na kaming tumakbo,” Suela said.

He added, “Na- traffic kami, paglingon ko nakatutok pa rin siya, sabi ko sana huwag naman iputok kasi hindi pa ako ready, marami pa akong gagawin.”

Suela’s group was on board the British Royal Air Force C-130 that first landed in Dubai.  They said they did not know that they would be stranded in the UK.

Jeffrey Colitana, on the other hand, spent 12 years as a security detail in Afghanistan and worked at the Swedish Embassy.

He said that when he heard on the radio that the Taliban had taken over Kabul, he immediately asked to be rescued.

6 Filipinos who fled Afghanistan stranded in UK

“Nag-contact po ako sa mga kasama ko na kung pwede nila akong sunduin. Sa awa ng Diyos ako naman ay kanilang nasundo. Sa daanan po ang daming Taliban na nakabantay sa amin,” said Colitana.

In the UK, the group of Filipinos split. Some went to Birmingham and others to Northampton. Two more Filipinos who worked with them were left behind because they still had a mission in Kabul.

“Nalaman lang namin nung dumaan kami ng Greece (para mag-refuel), sabi ko, bakit nasa Greece na tayo? pa-UK na raw. Hanggang diretso na rito sa Birmingham,” said Suela.

The Filipinos who escaped also called for help from President Duterte. Because of their sudden departure from Kabul, they begged. They could have gotten the wages and any benefits from their employer.

They will have to finish a ten-day quarantine in the UK before leaving the hotel. But they still don’t know how long they will stay in the UK.

The United Kingdom has promised to receive 20,000 Afghan refugees over the next five years.

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