Bishop supports Philippines’ rescue op of 3 Filipinos in Libya

Bishop supports Philippines’ rescue op of 3 Filipinos in Libya Bishop Rufino Santos

A Catholic bishop in the Philippines has expressed support for a government plan to rescue three Filipino migrant workers abducted in Libya last month.

Bishop Rufino Santos, head of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, said he supports President Rodrigo Duterte’s proposal to send a frigate to help rescue the Filipinos.

“Yes we support,” said the prelate in an interview. “We should show our solidarity and [that] we are serious about the freedom of Filipino abductees,” said Bishop Santos.

The prelate also called on the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs to do its best to help rescue three Filipino engineers and a South Korean who were taken from a water project site on July 6.

“We appeal to our [Foreign Affairs Office] to exhaust all means for the safe freedom of our three Filipino engineers abducted in Libya,” said Bishop Santos.

On August 4, the Philippine Navy announced that its fleet-marine unit is preparing an “appropriate force package” to help the kidnapped Filipinos.

South Korea has already deployed the 4,000-ton warship Munmu the Great, which was part of anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

“Every life is important, precious. A single life is valuable,” said Bishop Santos, adding that the Filipinos in Libya “have only best intentions to serve the country where they are in”.

Last week, Duterte said the Philippines would send two warships to Libya to join efforts to secure the release of the kidnap victims.