They are in a good condition. The Embassy also provides logistical and medical assistance."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Embassy in Manila has set up a meeting with the Philippine Department of Justice to discuss the handling of 177 Indonesian hajj pilgrims who were detained after they were found with fake passports.

"This morning, I communicated with the Indonesian Embassy in Manila. At 2 p.m. local time, the Embassy representatives will meet the personnel from the Philippine Department of Justice," Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi said here on Wednesday.

The Indonesian government has delivered a strong message to the Philippines authorities, stressing the urgent need to repatriate the 177 hajj pilgrims to Indonesia.

These 177 Indonesian hajj pilgrims continue to remain at the facility provided by the Embassy in Manila as they wait for the legal process to get over.

"They are in a good condition. The Embassy also provides logistical and medical assistance," the minister pointed out.

On Friday, August 19, these 177 Indonesian hajj pilgrims were held by the immigration officials in the Philippines for trying to travel on fake Philippine passports.

They were detained by the Philippine immigration officials shortly before they were to embark on an airline that would have flown them to Medina, Saudi Arabia.

Director of Protection for Indonesian Citizens and Indonesian Legal Agency (PWNI-BHI) Lalu Muhammad Iqbal informed that a team from the Indonesian embassy in Manila and the Indonesian Foreign Ministry had identified the 177 Indonesians, now being held at the Immigration detention center in Manila.

They reportedly paid around US$6,000 - US$10,000 per person for the pilgrimage.

This year, Saudi Arabia had allocated to Indonesia a pilgrim quota of 168,800, reduced from the earlier more than 200,000 a year, due to the ongoing renovation work in Masjidil Haram.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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