No Leads Yet on Whereabouts of Seven Abducted Pinoys in Libya –DFA

Philippine officials in Libya still have no leads on the whereabouts of the seven Filipino workers who were kidnapped in two separate incidents there.

At the same time, the group or groups behind the abductions remained a mystery to authorities as of Wednesday, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Charles Jose said in a television interview.

“Ginagamit po ng embassy natin ang kanilang network of contacts para makakuha po ng lead na puwedeng tumukoy sa kinaroroonan po ng ating mga kababayan,” Jose told “Balitanghali” Wednesday.

Four Filipinos were abducted from an Armenian-operated oil field in Central Libya early March, weeks after three were kidnapped from an Italian-owned oil field also in Central Libya, according to reports reaching the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila.

The abductions highlighted the danger faced by hundreds of Philippine nationals working in the country, which has been plagued by months of civil unrest and armed hostilities.

Jose, meanwhile, belied reports that four Filipino nurses in Libya were also kidnapped, saying the four were merely evacuated.

“Ayon po sa ating embassy, sa kanilang pagsisiyasat, ay talagang vinerify nila na hindi nga po talaga kidnapping itong case na ‘to. Ang nangyari po ay nilipat po itong apat na Filipino mula po sa kanilang accommodation to a safer place,” he said in the same interview.

Jose once again appealed to Filipinos who are still in Libya to leave the strife-torn country, which is currently under Alert Level 4 for its unstable political situation.

“Patuloy po ang ating panawagan sa mga kababayan na hanggang ngayon ay nasa Libya pa rin na lumikas na po ng bansa dahil po sa lumalalang security situation at i-avail yung repatriation program na inaalok po ng ating pamahalaan para na rin sa sarili nilang kaligtasan,” he said.

Earlier this year, a Filipino woman was injured in a terrorist attack on an upscale hotel in capital Tripoli.

In July last year, a Filipino construction worker was beheaded by militants while a Filipina nurse was kidnapped and gang-raped by a group of Libyan youth.

At least 4,000 workers have remained in Libya, defying calls from the Philippine government to leave.

(Source: Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News)

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