MANILA, Philippines – More Filipino workers in war-torn Libya will soon arrive home, Philippine Chargè d’Affaires Elmer Cato said on Wednesday.
In a post on Twitter, Cato said the latest batch of 15 Filipinos, including five minors, were briefed by the Philippine Embassy in Libya before they were evacuated from the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
“@PhinLibya briefs the latest batch of 15 Filipinos, including five minors, prior to their evacuation from Tripoli this morning,” Cato said.
This brings to 70 the number of kababayan who requested the assistance of @DFAPHL and @doleph in returning to the Philippines,” he added.
According to Cato, this is the biggest number of Filipinos to be evacuated since the latest conflict erupted in April.
The repatriates are expected to arrive in Manila on Thursday.
“This is so far the biggest number of Filipinos to be repatriated by @PhinLibya, @DFAPHL, and @doleph since the current crisis in Tripoli erupted almost two months ago,” he said.
“The repatriates will arrive in Manila from Tunis via Dubai on Thursday,” he added.
Last May 17, at least 11 Filipinos were repatriated from Libya amid heavy continued heavy fighting.
READ: 11 more Filipinos to arrive home from Libya
The DFA recently enforced a mandatory evacuation of Filipino workers in Tripoli and other areas within a 100-kilometer radius from the capital due to escalating tensions.
READ: Alert level 4 raised in Libya – DFA
Cato also said in a Twitter update that they have been trying to reach a group of Filipino engineers who refused to leave their compound amid heavy clashes in the outskirts of Tripoli.
“They have been incommunicado for the past four days,” he added.
The DFA official 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.