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5 Aug 2014

Walden Bello, Member of the House of Representatives, Inquirer.net (Philippines)

Lawmaker says Philippines Govt. at fault for 13,000 Filipino workers in Libya trapped in crossfire between militias

“The Libyan trap: A tragedy of our own making”, 4 August 2014

…[T]he Philippine government has failed badly in its duty to safeguard the life and limb of its citizens in Libya.  13,000 of them are now trapped in the crossfire between rival Islamist and non-Islamist militias that rule the country…It’s true that some OFWs [overseas Filipino workers] don’t want to leave because they’re earning hard-earned dollars they would not be able to earn back home.  But the key issue…is why the DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] and DOLE [Department of Labor and Employment] allowed the deployment of our workers to Libya in the first place, and why they did not impose the deployment [ban] until it was too late. The tragedy of our trapped OFWs in Libya…is the result of a massive policy blunder that is rooted, in great part, on these two agencies’ desire to appease transnational corporations operating in Libya that depend a great deal on the flow of Filipino labor…