DFA: 6 Filipinos confirmed dead in Algeria siege


MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday confirmed that six Filipinos died in the hostage crisis in Algeria and four others are still missing.

In a press conference, DFA spokesperson Undersecretary Raul Hernandez made the announcement but declined to give details on the identities of the male fatalities.

Hernandez said that based on reports received from the Philippine government’s team in Algeria and the country’s embassy in London, 26 Filipinos worked at the In Amenas gas plant that was attacked by al-Qaida-linked gunmen last week. The list was confirmed by Algerian Foreign Ministry and the employers of Filipino workers there, he said.

He said that 12 Filipinos were accounted for and confirmed alive. He said that of the 12, four were being treated in Al Azhar hospital in Algiers, four were in Mercure Hotel awaiting repatriation, and four have been repatriated or were on their way home.

“The DFA is in the process of notifying the kin of the six confirmed dead and coordinating the shipment of their remains and we are also locating the whereabouts of the four unaccounted for,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez, however, could not clearly state the circumstances of how the six Filipinos died but said that “it was the direct result of the hostage taking incident in the area and mostly by gunshot wounds and the effects of the explosion.”

When pressed by reporters whether the deaths of the Filipinos were caused by the execution from the Islamists or the result of the military action, Hernandez said that they did not have specific information but “the information is they died in the facility.”

He said he could not also give the specific number but most of the Filipino workers were employed by the Japanese engineering firm JGC Corporation.

He added that the director general of the Asia Pacific Affairs of the Algerian ministry of Foreign Affairs conveyed on behalf of the Algerian government its deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and to the Philippine government.

“He also emphasized to our Charge d’ Affaires that his government took the military action and did everything possible to prevent the further loss of life and when it was confirmed that the terrorists had started executing some of the foreign hostages,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez noted that the four Filipinos wounded and being treated in the hospital were generally in stable condition. “One was in serious condition because he was suffering from wounds in the neck and spine,” he said.

He said that the DFA was coordinating with Algerian authorities for the repatriation of the bodies of the fatalities and the repatriation of the Filipinos who were accounted for.

Asked whether the country was planning to set travel advisories and ban to the area following the incident, he said that there were no such discussions as of the moment.

Earlier reports had noted that the death toll from the siege had risen to more than 80 as Algerian forces searching the area for explosives found more bodies but that it was not clear whether they were hostages or militants.

An earlier Algerian ministry count also noted that 23 foreigners and Algerians were killed after al-Qaida-linked gunmen began their attack on the In Amenas gas plant deep in the Sahara desert on Wednesday. It also said that 32 kidnappers were also killed during the siege, and special forces were able to free 685 Algerian workers and 107 foreigners.

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  • JK1000

    So sad to see our OFW’s  fate ended this way while our politicians continue to steal money from the people instead of using it so we can create jobs for filipinos. The saddest part of this is taxpayers money goes to corrupt politicians instead of creating hope for the people so they don’t have to go abroad to support their familes.

    • OFW Franklin

      I can agree with you 100 % and the most unacceptable truth is that running the government become a family business.

      • bongfatima

        like the  family of Garcia of Cebu, kind of they didn’t know how to look for decent job. how sad that those kind of people still think that politics is a family business.

  • Dondon Villosa

    Bishops!!! salamat sa inyo sa pag promote nyo ng mga OFW’s… hayyyy

    • epal_ako

       these catholic bishops should have been used as the human shield instead para marealize nila ang pinagsasasabi nila!

  • tony

    Now its up to the surviving families of the 6 dead Pinoys to exact revenge on the f*(%ing mus**lims …

  • Eddie

     I wrote my international e-mail friends regarding this incident. It is indeed sad that our countrymates who left our country to find
    jobs took their chance when they went to countries where danger has
    always been present especially on those countries where militant
    religious groups are present. A lot of our OFWs have suffered abuses
    from their employers but what happened to our countrymates in Algeria
    was the worst.

    As long as we have employment problems in our country, we can’t
    prevent the emigration of our countrymates to other countries
    including those that will put in danger and in the case of Algeria,
    they lost their lives. I feel sorry for the relatives of our

    • slim6744

      A while back….I read on the INQUIRER that the UNEMPLOYMENT picture in the Philippines was between 7% and 8%. WHY do I keep READING this…when the UNEMPLOYMENT situation in the Philippines……was CLOSER to 29% and UP?

      Why do we LIE….to the rest of the world, that the UNEMPLOYMENT picture in the Philippines is 7 or 8%..when this is NOT so?  

      If this IS the case….then, why do Filipinos STILL rely on OVERSEAS employment, when they can easily STAY at home……closer to their FRIENDS and RELATIVES?…..and PROBABLY…..feel safer…than going OVERSEAS?

      Is it because…..”It’s always BETTER in the Philippines”…than anywhere else? I DOUBT it. UNEMPLOYMENT in the Philippines….is just….ONE of the problems….FACING…..the country. ANOTHER….is PERSONAL SECURITY. Like….KIDNAPPINGS..and DRIVE BY SHOOTINGS. 

      As a former Filipino…..I still LOVE….the Philippines……but…..”We STILL have MOUNTAINS…to CLIMB.”

      Let’s “TELL IT LIKE IT IS”…..and NOT……hide our HEADS…in the sand!…….EVEN…if this is going to SCARE  away…..FOREIGN INVESTORS! 

  • wawa2172

    Terrorist is everywhere nowadays, worst it is God praising terrorist that we call Islamist and they are in the loose using the internet to spread their devilish caused. So sad that Filipinos earning their keeps abroad lost their lives because of the Islamist do not have respect for life. Islamist is the only terror group in the world that praises God as if Allah tolerates what they are doing on earth. Allah maybe feeling so sad and lonely that his believers are using his name to sow terror. Nowadays, when one sees a Muslim,  one cannot avoid the thought that he or she might be a terrorist and could be a walking bomb. 

    • Julio7

      It is unfortunate for our beloved countrymen, dying on this hostage crisis, who are hard working just to meet both ends. It is regrettable, I say, as this is collateral damaged by Western intervention in Muslim countries specifically in Mali. Western media as usual is a sale outdated pitch with the same old dictum – unfolded bias.
      If you have noticed, there is a new word invention today, where we have not heard before. The word “Islamist” with the connotation of “Jihadist”, is a clear new derivative from the Western biases. A Muslim fighting in Mali against government corruption, it is called “Islamist”.  A Muslim fighting in Syria against tyranny is called “Rebel”. A Muslim fighting in Libya against Qaddafi, in Iraq against Saddam and in Afghanistan against Taliban is called “freedom fighter”, and a Muslim fighting against US and allies is called “terrorist”.
      I must assume that you don’t know all of these to say that only Islamist invoke God’s name, because all these groups praise the word “Allahu Akbar” in every action they did, either they are Islamist, Terrorist, Rebel or Freedom Fighter.
      The swift UN Security Council resolution for Mali is horrendous, while neglecting the manslaughter in Syria. Indeed, we are on the stage of vision impairment, a phase for severe blindness. How do we acknowledge our conscience on the bloodshed in Syria while there is no bloodshed in Mali? Why on Mali (90% Muslim), but not in Ivory Coast or Central African Republic (CAR) which have the same internal problem from the rising dissident citizen? Interesting indeed.
      Believe me, the West, specifically France supported the Muslim rebels in Libya under NATO to quell against Qaddafi forces. And these “rebels” are the same people rising in Mali. Note that global jihad had no boundaries, nationalities or race but the same aspiration to gain liberation from the corrupt-deceiving ideologies.
      I am not a Muslim apologist, but we are being confused by western media rhetoric which will just bring hatred, rancour and instigate enmity toward any group, religion or race. I don’t want to repeat the incident in New York subway, where a woman pushes the man toward the train rail thinking that the man is a Muslim.
      We all want peace over any violence. The few Muslim extremist killing innocent civilian is unacceptable and had no place in this world, nor any non-Muslim like diabolic Ronald Bae and Hansel Marantan.

      • wawa2172

         I agree with you that not all muslims are bad but not all western ideals and concepts on Islamist may be biased. The collateral damages with innocent people as human shield is unforgivable whatever the extremist religion is. In Muslim conflict however human shield are use to survive. Besides the concept of using religion to demand concession in another country is absurd. Domestic conflict should be let alone as it is its government that invite investors to their country and so do the help of foreign workers. Kung may maayos na trabaho lang sana sa Pinas, nag sisipag ang mga tao at walang corrupt sa gobyerno then we don’t have to work abroad.

      • Julio7

        Even if we have a lot of decent works in the Philippines and we stayed home other than to go abroad, we are still not safe and will encounter some violence in our place. Even a rich man will not escape from criminals activities. We are now sunk on the greediness, consumerism and materialism. We invented something (gun, bomb, drug, greed, vice, etc) that will diminish our human race. We can not have peace without justice.
        Hindi ako galit sa mundo. The world and particularly the West must recognize that, in a world filled with injustice, violent outbursts by those hoping desperately for a better life or simply seeking to strike a blow against injustice or their tormentors (poor, hunger, victim) before they die can never be eradicated. At best, the frequency and gravity of such outbursts can be diminished by seeking to alleviate (rather than to aggravate) the injustices and humiliations that give rise to them, by more consistent and universal application of the fundamental principle to do unto others as you would have others do unto you and of the fundamental principle of the founding fathers of democracy that all men are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights, by treating all people (even ones enemies) as human beings entitled to basic human rights and by striving to offer hope and human dignity to the miserable millions who have neither.
        However, it is not inevitable that this trend must continue unless, of course, men and women of good will, compassion and ethical values, who share a well-founded fear as to where the world is heading and can see clearly that there must be, and is, a better way, permit themselves to be terrorized into silence.

        I’m longing for a peaceful world. 

  • Klepto

    Clearly, POEA and OWWA are totally useless government agencies.

    • DarkSideOfTheMoon2

      This was an attacked by Al-Qaida linked gunmen….why say POEA and OWWA are useless? Ang layo yata.

  • anu12345

    Worst case scenario, 10 Pinoys will be victims. Hope the four were able to hide and will resurface. Sad because they sacrifice being with family for a long time. I can imagine what their families’ feeling now. Waiting nervously for the news

  • WeAry_Bat

    If I have to guess, there may be a few people who are glad over these news.  I hope I am wrong.

    The ones who gave a dismal performance in the Luneta hostage crisis.

  • Edgardo Mendoza

    MAMILI KA MAMATAY KA SA BOMBA SA ALGERIA O MAMATAY KA NG GUTOM SA PILIPINAS condolence nalang dun sa namatayan wala po magagawa wala hanap buhay sa pilipinas dun nalang sa amin isang tambak ang tambay!! kahit delikado pa yan kapit na sa patalim

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