THE abduction of three Filipino technicians in Libya is bound to reinforce the Philippines’ existing ban on the deployment of its workers to the strife-torn North African country.
There is a ban on deployment of Filipino workers to Libya, which still has an ongoing civil war. The seized technicians may have entered Libya with working visas obtained from a third country.
It is also possible the three Filipinos were already in Libya a long time ago, and that they shunned repatriation when the Philippine government brought home some 14,000 workers in 2011 and 2014.
Libya is in desperate need of foreign professionals for its medical and oil sectors, and Tripoli has been repeatedly appealing to Manila to lift the ban on the deployment of Filipino workers. But as we can see in this latest kidnapping incident, the ban should stay. It is simply too dangerous for our workers to be there.
In fact, if we still have citizens left there, we should bring them home now because all foreigners there are being targeted by lawless elements. Foreigners in Libya are not just encountering security issues, but also money remittance difficulties.
The best way to secure the safe release of the three Filipinos is for us to coordinate our efforts with the Libyan and South Korean governments. A South Korean was also snatched together with the three Filipinos in the attack on a water project site in western Libya.
Seoul has already deployed a warship to Libya in an apparent show of force to secure the release of the hostages.--ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III