The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI) has asked the faithful to pray for the safety and immediate release of the four Filipinos workers who were recently abducted in Libya. “I ask all to join us in praying for the safety of the abdicated Filipinos and for their immediate release,” Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the CBCP-ECMI, said in an interview.
The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said that four Filipino workers were among the nine foreigners seized by armed men at an oil field in Libya on March 6. Due to the incident, Santos appealed to the government to be more determined in stopping Filipinos from taking jobs in conflict areas. “I understand that our government has been discouraging if not outrightly banning Filipinos from working in Libya because of the fighting there and has been repatriating Filipinos who are there who wish to leave,” he said. “(But) My appeal is for a more determined effort to stop Filipinos from taking jobs in conflict zones and to have those caught in the conflict to be brought home,” added Santos. The ECMI official also appealed to the OFWs not to sacrifice their safety in exchange for a better pay. “While the jobs there offer huge pay they come at the cost of life and safety,” Santos said. “I appeal to our overseas workers to avoid these Middle East hotspots,” added the prelate.