According to The Associated Press, the Philippine government said Saturday (August 23) said that it would bring home its peacekeeping forces from the Golan Heights amid the deteriorating security in the region and simultaneously withdraw its troops from Liberia as a result of because of the Ebola outbreak.

The 331 Filipino peacekeepers in the Golan Heights will be sent home after their tour of duty ends in October 2014 and the 115 peacekeepers in Liberia will be "repatriated as soon as possible," Department of National Defense spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said.

"Amidst the volatile security environment in the Middle East and North African region, the Philippines prioritizes the safety and security of its troops, but remains committed to the peacekeeping missions of the United Nations," Galvez said in a statement.

He said the repatriation of the Filipinos from Liberia was due to the "rising health risk posed by the outbreak of Ebola virus in Africa."

COMMENT: Why is it that UN headquarters is always so late at the game to proactively protect peacekeepers?

In March 2013, Syrian rebels seized 21 Filipino peacekeepers, mostly army soldiers, and abducted four others two months later. They were all subsequently released.

Following the abductions and the escalating hostilities between Syrian rebels and government troops in the UN-patrolled buffer zone that separates Syria from the Israeli-occupied plateau, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario asked President Benigno Aquino III to withdraw the troops.

Del Rosario later reversed his recommendation after the UN assured Manila to bolster peacekeepers' security, including providing them with enhanced self-defense weapons and ballistic-resistant body armor.

The Philippines has been sending peacekeeping contingents to the Golan Heights since 2009 and to Liberia since 2003.

Galvez said the Philippines' 156 peacekeepers in Haiti would continue with their mission.