Filipinos in Myanmar were told to “remain calm” and stay inside their homes after Myanmar’s military took over the country in an apparent coup on Monday, February 1.
“The Embassy urges all Filipinos in Myanmar to remain calm and to stay at home. All Filipinos are encouraged to register with the Embassy,” read an announcement from the Philippine Embassy.
“Please also make sure that you are included in the Embassy township coordination group,” read the statement posted on Facebook.
Those who are not registered with the embassy were advised to send a message through the Facebook page so that they can be connected with the coordinator for their respective township.
Based on the latest figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, there are 1,273 Filipinos in Myanmar.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the Myanmar military’s takeover of its government was not a coup.
The Philippine official likened it to a “chess move” after rising tensions over the result of recent elections.
“Report from Myanmar indicates a chess move but not a coup on the party of the [Myanmar Defense Services]; the [Commander in Chief] committed to respect the 2008 Constitution which respects military role,” Locsin tweeted on Monday, February 1.
Locsin expressed doubt the military would harm Suu Kyi, citing her father’s relationship with its military and his legacy as the founding father of modern-day Myanmar.
“Her father was the father of Burma and the Army. So she is the sibling of the Army. They won’t dare hurt her,” he said.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippines viewed the unfolding coup in Myanmar as an “internal matter” it will not interfere with.
The presidential palace said the Philippine government is ready for a possible repatriation of Filipinos from Myanmar.
All Filipinos are encouraged to register with the Embassy through this link.
“For emergencies, you may call the Embassy landline at 01 558149-153 of the Embassy hotline at 09250765938,” the embassy added.