Philippines welcomes return of 3 Pinoy engineers held in Libya

 Teodoro Locsin Jr.

THE Philippines yesterday welcomed the return of three Filipino civil engineers who were taken hostage by armed men from the project site of the Great Man-Made River Project in the southern part of Libya 10 months ago.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. personally met Anthony Padilla, Romeo Manabat and Roderick Rivera,  who arrived on a Philippine Airlines flight from United Arab Emirates escorted by Ambassador Haycelyn Quintana,  at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.

They were reunited with thier families at the terminal’s VIP lounge.

“We are glad that we are able to bring them home alive and safe to their families.  These Filipinos coming home to their families are living proof that the DFA will never leave a Filipino in danger behind,” Locsin said.

The Filipino engineers and a South Korean colleague were working on a desalination plant in western Libya when abducted.

Loscin said  the Philippines deeply appreciates the efforts of the United Arab Emirates, Libya, South Korea, and other friendly countries that led to the release of the four civil engineers.

The DFA, through the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs, shouldered their airline tickets to Manila and provided them cash assistance.

The engineers, who were  held by unidentified armed militant group, were freed through joint efforts by Abu Dhabi and military strongman Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army.

With Cristina Lee-Pisco