Alert level 4 raised in Libya—DFA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 1, 2019   •   1241

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised the alert level from III to IV in Libya due to the increased threats to the safety and security of the Filipinos in the said country.

According to their statement on Wednesday (May 1), the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli recommended Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. to raise the alert level.

“The current situation on the ground could no longer guarantee the safety and security of Filipinos who chose to remain despite repeated appeals for them to go home,” the statement reads.

The new alert level covers Tripoli and other areas within a 100-kilometer radius from the capital.

There are over 1,000 Filipinos living in Tripoli.

Locsin appealed to Filipinos in Libya to consider repatriation and requested families to convince their love ones to go home before it’s too late.—Aileen Cerrudo

Locsin orders filing of diplomatic protest vs Chinese warships sighted in Sibutu Strait

Maris Federez   •   August 19, 2019

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has ordered the filing of diplomatic protest regarding the Chinese warships that were seen in Sibutu Strait.

On his twitter post, Locsin said that what the Chinese warships did was a clear act of trespassing.

Based on the report of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WMC), two Chinese warships were spotted in Sibutu Strait in July and three this August.

The DFA chief said it is but rightful for the country to file another diplomatic protest as China had once again encroached on the Philippine seas. (with reports from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

115 feared dead after worst Mediterranean shipwreck of the year

Robie de Guzman   •   July 26, 2019

Female migrant wiping tears from eyes after a wooden boat carrying migrants capsized off Libya. | Courtesy: Reuters

The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, says up to 150 people are feared dead after a wooden boat carrying migrants capsized off Libya.

The head of the UNHCR, Filippo Grandi, said in a tweet that it was the worst such tragedy in the Mediterranean this year.

The Libyan navy said it had rescued 134 people, with 115 missing, feared drowned.

It said about 250 people were on board the ship when it capsized off the coast near Khoms, east of the capital Tripoli. Most are thought to be from Eritrea and other sub-Saharan Africa and Arab countries.

Dozens of survivors were brought to Khoms after being rescued. A Sudanese migrant, Sabah Youssef, who lost her seven-year-old son in the sinking, blamed the International Organization for Migration for turning her away when she went to them for help.

Libya is a hub for migrants and refugees, many of whom try to reach Europe in unseaworthy boats. The latest shipwreck takes the death toll of Mediterranean migrants to over 600 this year. (REUTERS)

(Production: Seham Eloraby, Hywel Davies)

DFA warns Filipino jobseekers against recruitment to Libya

Marje Pelayo   •   July 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has warned Filipino job seekers against individuals in the Philippines who have been recruiting workers to Libya.

The DFA emphasized through the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli that recruitment, processing, and deployment of Filipinos in the Philippines or abroad remains suspended for all jobs in Libya.

“The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has also informed the Embassy that it has not issued any approval to any individual or agency in the Philippines and in Libya to recruit and deploy nurses, engineers, and other workers to Libya,” the Embassy added.

According to the advisory, only Filipinos with existing work contracts and certificates of exemption from the Embassy and those who are on vacation in the Philippines are allowed to return to Libya.

Amid the escalating civil war in Libya, the Embassy said it is currently working with Libyan authorities to ensure the safety and security of Filipino workers in the North African state.

The Embassy reminds Filipinos recruiting jobseekers to Libya from the Philippines and other countries that they are liable for violating the law in accordance with the Anti-Trafficking Persons Act and the Migrant Workers Act.

The DFA encourages the public to report such illegal activities to the DFA, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or other concerned agencies of the government in the Philippines.

Those abroad may report to the Philippine Embassy and Consulates in their host countries for any act of illegal recruitment to the conflict-stricken nation.

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