By Gloria Jane Baylon
Filipinos who may still be in Libya this coming Saturday ”will certainly not be left behind” and all means will be done to have them relocated or repatriated, Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario said at a press briefing Friday.
The Saturday deadline set by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for all Libya-based Filipinos to avail of the last repatriation scheme is admittedly an “internal” one, Del Rosario stressed, because of the worsening situation in the North African country, particularly in Tripoli and the coastal areas east of the capital such as Benghazi.
A 2,000-passenger capacity Greek-owned ship, the “Ionian Queen,” is due to dock in Tripoli on Saturday for the scheduled last evacuation out for Filipino repatriates, according to DFA.
As of DFA’s last count, about 12,000 Filipino workers and their dependents have been moved out of Libya with less than a third having actually reached Manila.
Del Rosario noted that a thousand repatriates from Libya are in Dubai waiting for connecting flights out to the Philippines.