OVERSEAS Filipino worker Elmer Presa was able to leave the crisis-hit Afghanistan together with his fellow citizens after obtaining clearance from the Taliban.
Presa shared a photo of himself and some gun-wielding men, presumably Taliban fighters, on a Facebook post on Thursday, for enabling them to enter Kabul’s airport.
“Thank you all for the permissions to get inside the HKIA (Hamid Karzai International Airport), Kabul Afghanistan,” he wrote.
Presa and the other Filipinos were allowed to board a United States military plane bound for Doha, Qatar.
In a radio broadcast, he revealed that Taliban fighters are now stationed at checkpoints around Kabul’s airport.
Presa claimed that his group had already entered HKIA thanks to assistance of their boss, but some of them were still stranded at the Swedish and US embassies in Kabul, where no local drivers dared to go after the hardline Islamist organization seized control of the city.
“Wala na po tayong driver na naglakas loob na kunin sila at ako po ay nakiusap sabi ko sa aking boss, I will take this to get my guys. So binigyan po ako ng pahintulot (We don’t have drivers anymore who dared to fetch them so I asked my boss to allow so he gave me the permission),” he shared.
“Sabi, ‘Elmer, you are on your own, you can do whatever you want, just bring them here.’ So yun po, kaya po lumabas ako…Nakiusap po ako sa mga Taliban na sila po kasi nagco-conduct ng checkpoints. Napakadami na po nila bigla sa labas (So I went outside… I asked the Taliban because they are the ones conducting the checkpoints. There were many of them outside),” he added.
Presa, recalling their discussion, informed the Taliban troops that he would be retrieving some of his countrymen and was given permission to do so.
“Malaya naman po akong nakakilos hanggang na-retrieve ko po yung mga tropa nating mga Pilipino (I was actually moving freely so I was able to retrieve them),” he said.
Presa said he was able to obtain three Filipinos barely in time for a flight on a US C17 military plane out of HKIA on Wednesday.
“Sabi ko, sa salita nila, may kaibigan akong Pilipino, pwede ko ba silang kunin nang walang problema? Hinayaan po nila ako. Actually wala po tayong problema sa kanila at binigyan po ako ng opportunity kaya sinamantala ko po yung pagkakataon (In their language, I said, I have Filipino friends, can I get them? They allowed me. Actually we had no problem with them, opportunity was given to me so I took it),” he added.
Presa and his companions have arrived in Doha, Qatar.
Following the cancellation of all commercial flights in Kabul, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) attempted to send two chartered flights to Kabul on Wednesday, but both were “unsuccessful”.