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Envoy reiterates plea for repatriation after another Filipino gets hurt in Libya fighting

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Chargé d’Affaires Elmer Cato on Wednesday (April 24) reiterated his plea for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Tripoli to go home.

Cato reported on his social media post that another Filipino, whom he did not name, was wounded when a mortar round fell and exploded in their compound near the Tripoli International Airport .

He added that the Filipino was working for an oil and gas service provider outside the capital Tripoli.

“Our kababayan is lucky he only sustained a shrapnel wound in his right foot. His Sudanese coworker was not—he was killed in the explosion,” Cato said.

Cato said the incident came only a few days after mortar rounds struck a hospital in Qasr bin Ghashir where 18 Filipino nurses working survived. A few days earlier, six Filipinos were caught in the middle of intense clashes in Ain Zara town and several Filipinos who were taken over by armed men also asked the embassy’s help to convince their employers to move them to safety.

“Some of us may not be lucky the next time rockets or mortars rain in on Tripoli,” the official said.

“So before the fighting intensifies further and before it gets closer to where many of our kababayan are in Tripoli, we plead to them and to their families in the Philippines to please seriously consider our offer to bring them home while we still can,” he concluded.

The Philippine Embassy in Tripoli maintains Alert Level 3 in Tripoli which means voluntary repatriation is taking place.

Thus, the Embassy continues to advise Filipinos in the African country to volunteer themselves for repatriation. – Marje Pelayo

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11 more Filipinos to arrive home from Libya

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 17th, 2019

More Filipinos in war-torn Libya will be repatriated to the Philippines, Philippine Chargè d’Affaires Elmer Cato said on Friday.

In a post on Twitter, Cato said 11 more Filipinos have been evacuated from the Libyan capital of Tripoli, bringing the number of Filipinos aided by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) officials to 55 since the latest conflict erupted last month.

“Another 11 of our kababayan were evacuated from Tripoli this morning by @PhinLibya, bringing to 55 the number of Filipinos assisted by @DFAPHL and @doleph in returning to the Philippines since latest conflict in Libya broke out on 4 April,” Cato said.

The DFA recently enforced a mandatory evacuation of Filipino workers in Tripoli and other areas within a 100-kilometer radius from the capital.

READ: Alert level 4 raised in Libya – DFA

Cato earlier called on Filipinos working in Tripoli to heed their advice to get out of the harm’s way by availing of the repatriation program they offer.

He said the ability of the DFA officials to respond to calls for assistance by Filipinos in distress becomes more difficult or even impossible to carry out as the fighting gets closer to the capital.

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Alert level 4 raised in Libya—DFA

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

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

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DFA calls on OFWs in Libyan hospital to take shelter at the Embassy

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

The Ali Omar Ashkar Hospital in Esbea where 60 Filipinos are employed | Courtesy : Philippine Embassy in Libya

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has appealed to 60 Filipinos working in Ali Omar Ashkar Hospital in Esbea to immediately take shelter at the Philippine Embassy after two artillery rounds struck the hospital on Sunday (April 28).

Chargés d’Affaires and Philippine head of mission, Elmer Cato said that hospital administrators have informed them that “they could no longer assure the safety and security” of the Filipino staff in the facility.

“In view of this, the Embassy appeals to our kababayan working there and their dependents to evacuate to safer locations now. The Embassy can accommodate those who wish to evacuate until it is safe for them to return there,” the envoy said on Facebook.

“The situation in the area has reached dangerous levels. The Embassy will make arrangements to extricate our kababayan as soon as this could be done,” he added.

On Monday (April 29), Cato also took to Twitter to appeal “to our kababayan in Salahuddin and nearby areas in Tripoli to move to the Embassy or to safer locations now due to the fighting expected to break out there.  Those who can no longer leave are requested to stay indoors.”

Since the fighting began in April 4, the DFA has so far assisted the repatriation of 32 Filipinos to the Philippines. – Marje Pelayo

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