19 January 2013
A migrant workers’ rights political party expressed sympathy and alarm over reports of Filipino workers who were held hostage in Algeria. More than 36 overseas Filipinos working in the Algerian gas plant are waiting for repatriation by the Philippine embassy amid the hostage taking of Islamic terrorists in the Algerian gas field.
The hostage taking is believed to be the biggest in Northern Africa after the 7 July 2005 London bombings (often referred to as 7/7) were a series of co-ordinated suicide attacks in London which targeted civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour.
Migrante Partylist Chairperson Connie Bragas-Regalado said “that the Philippine government should immediately repatriate the OFWs and ensure the financial assistance and full compensation of all the victims in Algeria hostage taking. “
She cited the news from the Algerian news agency that two Filipinos were reported dead along with two Britons and the 41 foreign nationals including the 34 Filipinos who were held hostage were already brought to Spain.
Bragas-Regalado urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to strictly monitor the situation of the Filipino overseas workers in Algeria and ensure their safety following the reports that DFA is still trying to determine how many OFWs were taken hostage and were present in the gas plant.
Bragas-Regalado claimed that there are 3,402 overseas Filipino workers deployed in Algeria in 2011 according to DFA. The Philippine Embassy in Algeria situated in Tripoli, Libya is servicing not only Filipinos in Algeria and Libya but a total of nine countries including Libya, Algeria, Chad, Mali, Malta, Mauratania, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunasia.
We are presently coordinating with our Migrante Middle-East chapter and the necessary coordination with the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli to push for a quick reaction team to immediately act and ensure the welfare of our kababayans and their families at home.
“We condemn the indiscriminate act of Algerian forces to ensure the safety of the hostage victims in return have impaired the lives of the victims and casualties including the two Filipino overseas workers. We demand the Aquino government to issue diplomatic statement condemning the acts of Algerian forces and demanding from the Algerian government to be accountable to all the victims of the hostage taking in Algeria including our kababayans.”
Migrante have received numerous reports about the plight of our kababayans caught in the middle of crossfire, held hostages and abductions abroad.
“We call on our fellow kababayans to be vigilant. Our doors are open to help our OFW victims until their demands are rightfully addressed and be reunited again with their families here in our homeland,” Bragas-Regalado said.
Connie Bragas-Regalado, Migrante Sectoral Party President, 0933-6503487