MANILA: No Filipino was reported injured or killed in the brazen gun and bombing attack on Tuesday night in Istanbul’s Ataturk airport but the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) may consider banning deployment to the country if security risks increases.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) officials said the country’s embassy in Ankara said there was no Filipino victim in the attack that left 42 people dead and more than 200 injured.
“Initial report from our embassy in Ankara says there are no Filipinos among the casualties in Istanbul airport bombing,” Inquirer.net quoted Charles Jose, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman, as saying.
Among the dead were two Saudi nationals while 25 others were reported injured.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz-Dimapilis told CNN Philippines there were 467 documented overseas Filipinos in Turkey in 2015.
In 2008, however, their estimated number was over 5,000 and mostly work as domestic help to affluent Turkish families.
Baldoz said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) can impose a deployment ban to Turkey, depending on the security risk.
“Depending on the number of the alert level, the POEA governing board, which I chair, can impose different kinds of deployment bans,” said Baldoz stressing that the ban can be implemented for both new and rehires.
On Tuesday night, three men arrived in taxi at the Ataturk airport and began firing at the terminal entrance. They blew themselves up after police pursued them.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim blamed the attack on the Islamic State.