DFA: No Kidnapping of 4 OFWs in Libya

MANILA (UPDATED) – The four Filipinos earlier reported kidnapped by members of the Islamic State were actually taken to a safer place, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said.

“Our embassy in Tripoli verified this information and the four Filipinos were not actually kidnapped. They were actually taken from their accommodation to a safer place,” DFA Assistant Secretary Charles Jose said.

Jose added that the Charge d’Affairs and the embassy were able to talk to one of the four Filipino nurses.

“They said they are safe,” he said.

CNN and other international wire agencies reported that about 20 medical workers with the Ibn Sina Hospital in Sirte were kidnapped by around 30 gunmen.

But Jose said a local friend of the Filipinos was concerned for their safety and took action by taking them to a safer place.

The DFA continues to call on Filipino nationals to avail of the Philippine government’s repatriation program due to the situation in Libya.

There are still some 4,000 Filipinos in Libya and about 30 OFWs, mostly nuses, in Sirte.

“Since itinaas ang alert level 4 noon nung July last year, we have been able to repatriate 4,233 OFWs from Libya,” Jose said.

ISIS is believed to be holding several more hostages, including seven Filipinos, abducted after separate attacks on oil facilities in Libya.

“Hindi pa rin natin alam ang kinalalagyan at kundisyon nila. The embassy is still exerting all efforts to locate their whereabouts,” Jose said.

Of the seven OFWs confirmed abducted by militants, three were taken from an oil field in Mabrook while the four others were kidnapped from Al-Ghani.

“Walang makikipag-negotiate with kasi walang nag-claim responsibility for the abduction and ang employer walang natanggang na ransom demand,” he said. With ANC and CNN

(Source: ABS-CBNnews.com)

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