Flee Libya, Philippines urges nationals

Paterno Esmaquel II
The Philippines raises alert level 3 in the strife-torn country

LIBYA UNREST. Libyan firefighters extinguish burning objects at the site after overnight explosions in the Salaheddin district in Tripoli, Libya on May 21, 2014. File photo by EPA/STR

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines advised its nationals on Thursday, May 29, to flee Libya as it raised crisis alert level 3 (voluntary repatriation phase) in the strife-torn country.

“Under crisis alert level 3, Filipinos in Libya are encouraged to leave the country voluntarily as soon as possible. The Philippine government will shoulder the repatriation cost,” the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.

The DFA cited the “worsening security situation” there.

It also urged Filipinos “to contact the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli to coordinate their repatriation.” It gave the following contact details: 

  • Embassy address: KM 7 Gargaresh Road, Abu Nawas, Tripoli;

  • Hotline number: (+218) 918244208;

  • Telephone number (+218-21) 483-3966; and

  • Official e-mail addresses: tripoli.pe@gmail.com; tripoli.pe@dfa.gov.ph

Up to 13,122 Filipinos live in Libya, the DFA said.

The DFA raised the alert level – from level 2 (restriction phase) on Friday, May 23 – as Libya is believed to be at the brink of civil war.

Earlier, a dramatic spike in lawlessness occurred in Libya’s two largest cities. This stirred concern abroad and in oil markets.

To assist Filipinos, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario went to Tripoli, Libya on Wednesday, May 28, “to meet with Philippine embassy officials and the rapid response team there.” Del Rosario led them in implementing the government’s contingency plan.

The United States on Tuesday, May 27, already urged its citizens in Libya to “depart immediately.” – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.