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PIA Press Release

Trapped Filipino peacekeeper rescued, search and rescue for Filipinos in Haiti continue

Manila (14 January) -- A Filipino peacekeeper trapped in a hotel in Haiti after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean nation last January 12 has been rescued, the Philippine Contingent Commander reported to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Peacekeeping Operations Center today.

10th Philippine Contingent Commander Lieutenant Colonel Lope C. Dagoy said Corporal David F. Catacutan, a member of the Security Element Defense Platoon of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), was rescued at the basement gym of Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince.

Corporal Catacutan had slight body contusion but is in stable condition. He is now in his detachment at the vicinity of the Montana Hotel. His spouse has been informed of the rescue.

The status of the three other trapped Filipino peacekeepers, however, remains the same.

Meanwhile, a task force within the Philippine Peacekeeping Contingent is conducting search and rescue for Filipinos in Haiti, and reaching out to and making an accounting of members of the Filipino Community there.

The task force, however, said limited visibility, blocked road conditions, poor communications, and peacekeepers’ search and rescue at the immediate areas hamper efforts.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo has instructed Philippine Ambassador to Havana Macarthur F. Corsino to proceed to Haiti as soon as possible to coordinate the efforts of the task force.

Ambassador Corsino is also directed to present a plan of action for the repatriation of Filipinos who would want to go back to Manila.

There are an estimated 462 Filipinos in Haiti, of which 290 are civilians and 172 are peacekeepers. The Filipino civilians are mostly in the garments, telecommunication and power generation sectors. They mostly occupy middle and upper management positions. There are also Filipino nuns and priests in Haiti. (PIA) [top]

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