Manila (Agenzia Fides) - President Rodrigo Duterte has offered Muslim Rohingya refugees asylum in the Philippines. In the face of this possibility, the Catholic Church approves the gesture, hoping that the idea is put into effect. The Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, Broderick Pabillo, said that "refugees continue to suffer due to a terrible situation". According to the Bishop, if Duterte is really concerned about refugees, "he should exert his influence on Myanmar to stop the army's crackdown on the Rohingya". Duterte should also ask other member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to "put pressure on Myanmar together".
In Myanmar, the new president of the country was recently elected by the Parliament: Win Myint, former President of the Lower House and a militant in the "National League for Democracy" of leader Aung San Suu Kyi since the founding of the party in 1988. Amnesty International called on the political authorities to "seize the opportunity to put an end to the Rohingya discrimination and to ensure that the perpetrators of human rights violations are called to respond". According to Amnesty, "an ethnic cleansing campaign was launched towards the Rohingya that also saw crimes committed against humanity.
On April 5, Duterte spoke of "genocide currently underway in Myanmar", claiming to be willing to welcome refugees in the country. And he had criticized the international community for its inability to solve the Rohingya crisis. However, last January Duterte had advised Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi to ignore criticism from human rights organizations for her silence on the issue. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 14/4/2018)