MANILA, Mar 10 (Mabuhay) – The Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday said that there are still no leads on the whereabouts of four Filipinos abducted by militants in Libya.
“Hindi pa po natin malaman kung sino ang responsible at kung saan po ang apat nating kababayan,” said DFA Assistant Secretary Charles Jose.
Jose said the embassy in Tripoli is in contact with the OFW’s employer, the Value Added Oilfield Services (VAOS), to get information on the workers condition. However, the employer said it has not received any ransom demand.
The latest incident brings to seven the number of Filipino oilfield workers abducted in Libya. The first one involved the abduction of three Pinoy workers from Mabrouk oilfield, while the second incident happened in Al-Ghani where militants snatched a group including four OFWs.
“Hindi po natin alam kung saan ang kanilang whereabouts. Wala po tayong leads kaya po talagang ini-exert po ng embassy natin lahat ng effort para matunton ang kanilang kinalalagyan,” Jose said.
On Monday, a spokesman for the Austrian foreign ministry said Islamic State militants in Libya seized the group of foreigners at the al-Ghani oilfield, citing “secure information”.
“We know that they were not injured when they were transported away from the al-Ghani oilfield,” the spokesman said, adding Austria had information the group was taken by Islamic State militants.
Meanwhile, the DFA renewed its call to remaining Filipino workers in Libya to avail of the government’s repatriation program.
“Kagaya po sa Al-Ghani, mayroon pa pong 52 other Filipinos na gusto po natin lahat sila ay mapabalik na,” he said.
So far, only 36 out of the 52 remaining OFWs in Al-Ghani availed of the government’s repatriation program.
“Inaasahan po namin na madadagdagan pa po ang numero. Tentatively, mayroon po tayong naka-schedule na repatriation bukas para sa nag-sign up,” he said.
Alert Level 4, which means a total deployment ban and mandatory repatriation, is still in place in Libya.
Jose earlier said around 4,000 Filipinos still remain in Libya, mainly due to economic reasons. (MNS)