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DFA raises alert level 3 in Tripoli, Libya

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday raised the alert level from two to three in Tripoli and nearby districts amid the escalating violence in Libya.

“I have raised the alert level in Libya to 3 but only for Tripoli and adjacent districts plus a 100 km radius,” DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. announced in his official Twitter account.

The Philippine Embassy in Libya said the alert level covers Filipinos working and living in Tripoli, as well as in Tahoura, Ghot Romman, Qaraboli, Qasr Khiyar, Esbea, Tarhuna, Bani Waled, Gharyan, Aziziya, Warshifana, Zawia, Surman and Sabratha.

Alert level 3 or voluntary repatriation phase means that Filipinos working in the specified areas but are currently in the Philippines will not be allowed to travel back to Libya until the situation returns to normal.

In an advisory, the embassy renewed its call to Filipinos working within the 100-kilometer radius of the Libyan capital to observe extreme caution and avail of the government’s offer of repatriation amid escalating tensions.

The department has assured to extend assistance to Filipinos who will avail of the repatriation program.

For Filipinos who chose to stay, the embassy has asked them to move to safer locations and to stay away from areas where fighting is taking place.

The DFA also strongly advises Filipinos “against taking part or even going near any public demonstrations or armed formations” and from making comments on social media about Libya’s political situation.

Filipinos in need of emergency shelter are also urged to call the embassy for assistance.

“The Embassy will remain open to respond to requests for assistance from Filipinos who might be affected by the fighting,” the DFA said.

There are 1,000 Filipinos in Tripoli and nearby areas, based on DFA’s estimates.

For urgent assistance, Filipinos in Libya may contact the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli through the number +218-91-824-4208 or through the official Facebook page of the Philippine Embassy in Libya. – Robie de Guzman

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At least 44 dead, 130 wounded in strike on migrant centre in Libya – U.N.

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 5th, 2019

Migrants walking through rubble in bombed migrant centre | Courtesy: Image grabbed from a Reuters video

At least 44 people were killed and more than 130 wounded in an air strike on a migrant detention centre in the Libyan capital Tripoli, the U.N. mission to the country said on Wednesday (July 3).

U.N. Libya envoy Ghassan Salame condemned the attack, saying in a statement that the strike “clearly amounts to the level of a war crime”.

It was the highest publicly reported toll from an air strike or shelling since eastern forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive three months ago with ground troops and aircraft to take the capital, base of Libya’s internationally recognised government.

Libya is a main departure point for migrants from Africa fleeing poverty and war and trying to reach Italy by boat, but many are picked up and brought back by the Libyan coast guard, supported by the European Union.

Thousands are held in government-run detention centres in what human rights groups and the United Nations say are often inhuman conditions.

The conflict is part of chaos in the oil-and-gas-producing nation since the NATO-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. (REUTERS)

(Production: Ayman Sahely, Nadeen Ebrahim, Helen Joyce)

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At least 40 killed in strike on Tripoli migrant detention centre – official

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

An air strike late on Tuesday (July 3) hit a detention centre for mainly African migrants in a suburb of the Libyan capital of Tripoli, killing at least 40 people and wounding 80, a health official said.

It is the highest publicly reported toll of an air strike or shelling since eastern forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar three months ago launched an offensive with ground troops and aircraft to take the capital held by the internationally recognised government.

The conflict is part of chaos in the oil-and-gas-producing nation since the NATO-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Libya is a main departure point for migrants from Africa fleeing poverty and war and trying to reach Italy by boat, but many get picked up by the Libyan coast guard supported by the European Union, which wants to stop migration.

Thousands of migrants are held in government-run detention centres in western Libya in what human rights groups and the United Nations say are often inhuman conditions. (REUTERS)

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Three Filipino tourists jailed in Hong Kong

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Courtesy : Photoville International

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed giving assistance to three Filipino tourists who were sentenced to five-month imprisonment in Hong Kong for using forged documents.

According the DFA, the three call center employees were involved in a supposed “free Hong Kong tour” which turned out to be a scam.

They opened bank accounts, specifically with Bank of China and Standard Chartered Bank, using falsified documents.

Despite successfully opening an account, authorities suspected that the accounts were to be used for money laundering activities and so arrested the three when they returned to the bank.

“Consul General Antonio Morales reported that the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong has been providing in-kind support and legal advice to the three Filipinos, including jail visits to ascertain their condition,” the DFA said.

Sentenced on February 18, the three Filipinos pleaded guilty to two counts of “using a false instrument” before the Hong Kong Magistrates’ Courts.

For this, Morales said the three are expected to be released in March after serving a reduced sentence for admitting the offense.

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