‘WALANG PINIPILI’ | ISIS Terror All too Real, Say 50 Repatriated OFWs from Libya

2015-0302 'WALANG PINIPILI'  ISIS Terror All too Real, Say 50 Repatriated OFWs from Libya

A masked, black-clad militant, who has been identified by the Washington Post newspaper as a Briton named Mohammed Emwazi, stands next to a man purported to be Steven Sotloff in this still image from a video obtained from SITE Intel Group website February 26, 2015. REUTERS/SITE Intel Group via Reuters TV

MANILA – Fifty Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Libya who arrived Friday at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) report that the situation in Libya has mostly spiraled into downright terror after the extremist Islamist rebel group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) stormed into Libya targeting Christians both local or foreign nationals for execution.

“Delikado na talaga, wala nang pinipili, basta Kristiyano dinudukot nila (It’s really touch and go. They just go around, indiscriminately grabbing, abducting Christians),” many of the repatriates said, echoing each other and referring to ISIS.

Jovito Galang, who worked as a storekeeper, described the prevailing conditions there as “mind-wracking.”

He said his group is thankful for the quick action by staff of the Department of Foreign Affairs who escorted them to safety in Tunis via the Ras Jedier border on February 25.

This batch composed of 38 Filipinos including two minors arrived at NAIA Terminal 1 at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on board Qatar Airways flight QR926 from Doha, Qatar. Some 12 other OFWs flew in at NAIA Terminal 3 at 4:00 p.m. on board Emirates Flight EK332 from Dubai.

These repatriates departed from Tripoli for the border with Tunis with representatives of the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli, led by Chargé d’affaires Adel Cruz, who provided for their lodging and basic necessities, coordinated their flight details, and personally accompanied them out of the Libyan border into the Tunisian border.

These arrivals bring the total number of recent Filipino repatriates from Libya to an estimated 4,207. Staff and personnel from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) briefed and assisted them, while the Office of Vice President Jejomar Binay provided additional assistance.

Due to the volatile security situation in Libya and the escalating violence in different parts of that country, the DFA and the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli strongly appeal to Filipinos still remaining there to sign up for repatriation and come home safely to their loved ones in the Philippines.

At present, an estimated 4,000 Filipinos are still in Libya, even as repatriation efforts have become more dangerous and difficult, almost by the day, considering that no commercial carrier is serving Libya with regular flights.

The ongoing civil strife and the recent air strikes conducted by other countries against armed groups make the security situation even more dicey, the returning OFWs related.

(Source: Eric B. Apolonio, InterAksyon.com)

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