Release of Filipino hostage ‘ignites hope’ for discovery of another missing PH nat’l
MANILA, Philippines — The release of the Filipino who was held hostage by Hamas “ignites hopes” for the prompt discovery of the whereabouts of another missing Filipino national, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said on Saturday.
According to Romualdez, members of the House of Representatives are heartened by the liberation of Filipino hostage Gelienor “Jimmy” Pacheco.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier confirmed that Pacheco was released by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Friday, along with 23 other hostages.
“Jimmy’s liberation, as part of the initial group of 24 freed hostages, ignites our hopes for the prompt discovery of the whereabouts of another missing national, Noralyn Babadilla,” Romualdez said in a statement.
The Speaker said the breakthrough underscores the efforts of the administration, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Philippine Foreign Services in securing Filipinos in the middle of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
Romualdez also extended gratitude to the State of Qatar for its role in facilitating Pacheco’s release.
“Echoing the Philippine Foreign Service’s commitment during this distressing period, we, in the House and the national government, vow to persistently engage with international partners and leverage our Middle Eastern assets until every Filipino is safe from the region’s turmoil,” he concluded.
Pacheco was taken hostage by Hamas last October 7.
Babadilla, on the other hand, was one of those previously named as “missing or unaccounted for,” and was also reportedly being held hostage.