Pinoy worker beheaded in Libya

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Monday, July 21, 2014


MANILA -- The Philippine Government said a Filipino construction worker kidnapped by militiamen in Libya has been beheaded by his captors.

He is the first Filipino casualty since the civil strife erupted anew in the North African state since the first civil war that toppled Moammar Gadhafi's regime in 2011.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose said Monday the Filipino worker was kidnapped on July 15. He was subsequently beheaded in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, following ransom negotiations.

The Filipino's decomposed body was found in a hospital on Sunday. His family has requested his name not be released.

The Philippine government is enforcing the mass evacuation of around 13,000 Filipinos in Libya due to increasing violence and lawlessness there, the closure of major airports, and heightened threats to their safety.

The DFA said Monday that all Filipino nationals in Libya must return home as soon as possible, stressing the North African country is no longer safe for them.

In a statement, the agency said the latest security developments in Libya has already made it necessary for the Philippine government to raise Crisis Alert Level 4, which calls for mandatory repatriation.

"Alert Level 4 has been raised due to the latest security developments in Libya, the increasing violence and lawlessness, the closure of major airports, the heightened security threat to Filipinos," said the DFA.

The department cited as an example the kidnapping and beheading of the Filipino worker.

"These events indicate that it is no longer safe for our OFWs to remain in Libya. For their own safety, the DFA urges them to immediately contact the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli to register for repatriation," said the DFA.

To register for repatriation, the DFA said Filipinos in Libya can directly get in touch with the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli, which is located at KM 7 Gargaresh Road, Abu Nawas, PO Box 12508, Tripoli.

Also, Filipinos there can contact the Embassy through the telephone numbers (00218) 918-244-208 / (00218) 911061166, and the e-mail addresses tripoli.pe@gmail.com; tripoli.pe@dfa.gov.ph.

The DFA said a Rapid Response Team and an augmentation team were already sent to Libya to assist the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli in the repatriation efforts.

The Philippine Embassy in Tripoli has also constantly reached out to the Filipino community and to employers in Libya to brief them on the situation and inform them of DFA’s responses to the crisis.

In the Philippines, the DFA also opened 24-hour hotlines for families of OFWs in Libya, particularly for those who have questions and concerns about the conditions of their relatives in Libya.

Families of Filipinos in Libya may call the hotline numbers (02) 552-7105/(02) 834-4685 or by e-mail to oumwa@dfa.gov.ph.

DFA records show that there are about 13,000 Filipinos in Libya. (HDT/Sunnex)

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