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15 more Filipinos to be evacuated from Tripoli — PH envoy

/ 02:19 PM May 29, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Fifteen more Filipinos in Libya will soon be evacuated from Tripoli and will be flown to Manila, Philippine Embassy in Libya Chargé d’ Affaires Elmer Cato said on Wednesday.

In an update over Twitter, Cato said that the latest batch of Filipinos, including five minors, were briefed by the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli before they were evacuated from the Libyan capital.

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“This brings to 70 the number of kababayan who requested the assistance of [Department oF Foreign Affairs (DFA)] and [the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)] in returning to the Philippines,” Cato added.

With the escalating tension in the north African country since fighting started last April 4, the embassy has reiterated its appeal to Filipinos in Libya to consider returning home to the Philippines.

Both the DFA and DOLE have sent augmentation teams to Libya to help with the repatriation of Filipinos.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier raised alert level 4, or mandatory repatriation, over Tripoli and nearby areas on May 1.

READ: DFA tells Filipinos in Tripoli, nearby areas: Leave now

Locsin, however, said that Filipinos in Libya will not be forced to leave.

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The DFA said that the “increased threats to the safety and security” of the more than 1,000 Filipinos who are still in Libya prompted the department to elevate the alert level in Tripoli and surrounding areas from 3 to 4.

“Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. raised the alert level upon the recommendation of the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli which said the current situation on the ground could no longer guarantee the safety and security of Filipinos who chose to remain despite repeated appeals for them to go home,” the DFA said in a previous statement.

“Chargé d’Affaires Elmer G. Cato said the fighting in the outskirts of Tripoli will also soon make it difficult for the Embassy to respond to urgent requests for assistance from distressed nationals,” it added. (Editor: Julie Espinosa)

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TAGS: Elmer Cato, evacuation, latest news, Libya, repatriation, Tripoli
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