MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Thursday, July 31, condemned the kidnapping and rape of a Filipino nurse in Libya as it again urged its nationals to cooperate with Philippine authorities tasked to evacuate them to safer ground.
Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr made the statement in a news briefing, in response to questions about a Filipino woman who had been kidnapped and raped by unknown gunmen in Tripoli, and released several hours after her ordeal.
“Kinokondena po natin ang krimen na naganap laban sa isang mamamayan natin doon at patuloy pa rin ‘yung pagsisikap ng ating Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) na nagtalaga na ng mga quick response teams na tulungan ang ating mga kababayan,” Coloma said.
(We condemn the crime committed against our citizen. The Department of Foreign Affairs [DFA], which has designated quick response teams, is doing its best to help our countrymen there.)
The Palace official reiterated the government’s call for Filipinos in Libya to heed its mandatory evacuation order, with repatriation costs to be fully shouldered by the government.
On July 20, the government called on its citizens to flee Libya citing the "extremely unstable political and security situation there."
Coloma said the DFA has already leased a vessel that would bring out its citizens from Libya, estimated to number 13,000. Of this number, 3,000 reportedly work in Libya as doctors and nurses,
In a statement on Thursday, the DFA reassured the public that repatriation efforts are ongoing, led by Adelio Angelito Cruz, Chargé d'Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli and leader of the Rapid Response Team.
“The DFA remains committed to the protection of our nationals in Libya as evidenced by the continued presence of core Embassy personnel as well as the Rapid Response Team despite the highly volatile security situation in that country,” the DFA said.
It urged remaining Filipinos in Libya to contact Philippine Embassy in Tripoli and register for repatriation, adding that the Philippine government will shoulder the repatriation costs.
Families can also register their relatives in Libya for repatriation through the DFA’s 24-hour hotlines (02) 552-7105/(02) 834-4685, and may also call these numbers for any questions and concerns. – Rappler.com