MANILA - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday voiced concern over the “evolving crisis” in the Middle East and the danger it poses to approximately 3 million Filipinos working in that region.

“We do not know what would be the end result of this crisis. It could lead to a protracted war. It could be a wide-scale strife. But whatever it is we Filipinos are really in great peril,” Duterte said in a speech at the presidential palace.

On Sunday, Duterte convened a security meeting attended by military and police commanders to discuss “the gravity of the situation” in the Middles East.

Filipinos in Saudi Arabia and Israel will be at risk if Iran takes retaliation, he added.

“If that happens, then we have a trouble because of our overseas Filipino workers are stationed, majority of them are in Saudi Arabia,” Duterte said.

Already, Duterte ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines “to prepare its air and naval assets to evacuate and bring home (the Filipinos) if and when open hostilities erupt in the Middle East that may endanger their lives.”

Ugandan president inaugurates walk to honour liberation fighters

WAKISO - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Saturday began a six-day walk in honour of the country’s fighters who won a five-year guerrilla war in 1986.

Museveni flagged off the 195-km historic trek code-named “Africa Kwetu”, loosely translated “Our Africa”, The Great Sacrifice from Galamba in the central district of Wakiso.

The president, dressed in full military combat, is leading the veterans, youths and well-wishers in the trek through the seven districts.

The trekkers are expected to cover 28 km per day before breaking in the evening over a bonfire at the dotted eight camp sites to remind Ugandans of the heroic exertions of the freedom fighters who volunteered out of patriotism, according to the organizers.

Museveni led a similar walk in 1999. Museveni led the five-year guerrilla war that brought him into power in 1986.