Global alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and families Migrante International today asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to verify reports that 10 Filipina nurses are being held hostage by rebel (anti-Gaddafi) forces in Libya.
According to Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez, they have just received information from a reliable source in Libya, who refused to be identified for fear of his life, that 10 Filipina nurses who were trapped in Misurata’s biggest hospital were taken hostage by rebel forces. Misurata is three hours away from Tripoli.
According to the source, Martinez said, the Filipino nurses were held hostage by rebel forces to act as “human shields” when pro-Gaddafi forces launched an attack to reclaim the area. It has been 20 days since they were last heard from.
Martinez added that the source said that the hostage-taking has been released in some Arab news outlets in Arabic and that “the embassy knows about this but they are not releasing any official information.”
The source also said that there are 3,000 to 4,000 Filipinos in Tripoli who, contrary to DFA’s statements, did not choose but “cannot leave because they are trapped there”. Some 15,000 Filipinos are still in war-torn Libya.
“We are very concerned with this news. We demand that the DFA immediately give an update on the status and well-being of Filipinos who are still in Libya. If this news is true, the DFA has the responsibility to inform the families and update the public on what measures the government is taking to ensure their safety,” he said.
Martinez also said that they have called up the parents of a Filipina nurse who is still in Libya and they said that they have not heard from their daughter for a month now. ###