Philippines still mulling over recognition of new gov’t in Libya

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The pre-1969 Libyan flag is hoisted at the embassy of Libya in Manila as Libyan diplomats declared that they are withdrawing support to strongman Moammar Gadhafi in Manila on Wednesday. AFP

MANILA, Philippines—Days after issuing a statement expressing support for a peaceful transition in Libya, Malacañang has yet to officially recognize any new government in that war ravged country.

Edwin Lacierda, President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman, said the Department of Foreign Affairs has asked for more time before issuing a statement on the matter as its foreign officers were continuing to monitor the situation in Libya.

“I asked them, ‘Have we recognized Libya?’. They said we still have to wait because they’re still evaluating and monitoring the situation in Libya for now,” Lacierda said in an interview on the state-run radio station dzRB.

“So, I told them, ‘We will defer to your monitoring and evaluation and you let us know.’ As of now, it has yet to reach that point (of recognizing the rebel side),” he added.

Lacierda said the safety of the country’s migrant workers in Libya remained the utmost concern of the government.

“What’s important for us here in the Philippines… is the protection of our OFW’s (overseas Filipino workers). We continue to monitor their safety, we continue to monitor where they are at least and to monitor if they’re willing to be repatriated. That is so far our primary consideration,” Lacierda said.

The decision on recognizing the new government will have to wait “because we still have many nationals in Libya,” Lacierda said.

Malacañang last week released a statement expressing support for the “transition” in Libya as rebel forces wrested control of most of the Middle Eastern country from longtime strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

“The Philippines welcomes the imminent resolution of the conflict in Libya,” Lacierda said in a statement Wednesday.

Lacierda’s statement came in the wake of an assurance from Libyan rebels to the Philippine embassy in Tripoli that fleeing Filipino migrants would be given safe passage out of the country.

On Wednesday, the Libyan Embassy in the Philippines defected to the rebels’ side, raising the red, black and green flag of the anti-Gadhafi forces.

Around 1,600 Filipinos are still believed to be in Libya, many of them nurses treating casualties of the months-long uprising against Moammar Gadhafi. With Agence France-Presse

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  • Anonymous

    The Philippines should not dilly dally in given recognition to the new Libyan government. Considering the number of countries that have recognized the new leadership we should also hop in the bandwagon promptly lest we want to be left behind.

    The leaders of the Libyan TNC have said the during the rebuilding of the country priority shall be given to countries who helped and recognized the new leadership when awarding contracts. That truly sounds a very good payback for throwing support behind the TNC.

  • Anonymous

    what keeps the government waiting? chances of Libya’s ligitimate government might still win? NO WAY! Gaddafi might still be in control of Tripoli for a few more days but not next week. NATO will not stop bombing hospitals, water systems, power supplies, civilian facilities and killing the women and children of Libya until Gaddafi is dead. Gaddafi’s AK-47 is no much to highly accurate tomahawk missiles that level off  his residential palace. the rebels of Benghazi which is composed mostly of mercenaries from qatar, italy, france, and al qaeda… and few misguided libyan volunteers are begging NATO for more bombings because they have difficulties with the local tribes. but are already assured by US, Israel and NATO countries of their fat share of the vast oil resources of Libya once they are already in control. and of course, the philippines being a friend of the US will be recognized.

  • Anonymous

    This only show how slow this government is in taking actions, whether acting in time of crisis (hostage taking), or recognizing current events that’s unfolding before its very eyes. However, they are very quick to find blame on every problem they dont want to be responsible of. 

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