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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vietnamese Political Prisoners to Philippines?

Vietnamese Political Prisoners to Philippines?

MORONG, Philippines (AP) - The U.S. asked the Philippines to take in about 100,000

political prisoners to be released by Vietnam before resettlement in the U.S., the

foreign secretary said on Jan. 21.

Foreign Secretary Roberto Romulo said Manila has not yet decided its response to

Washington's recent request.

The Philippines operates a United Nations-funded refugee processing center in Morong,

in Bataan province west of Manila.

The center teaches Vietnamese boat people such things as English andAmerican culture.

Romulo visited the center on Jan. 21 during ceremonies to mark its 13th anniversary.

He said most of the Vietnamese political prisoners, who would be released in groups,

could be processed quickly. But resettlement arrangements for about 10,000 of them

would take longer because they do not have relatives in the United States, he added.

There were some 7,418 Vietnamese awaiting resettlement still at the center, which

can accommodate 15,000 people at one time.

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