By Leslie Ann Aquino
Masses are being offered for the safety of Filipino workers, who have been caught in the middle of the raging conflict in Libya.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People chairman Bishop Ruperto Santos said Filipino chaplains there were already advised to offer Masses.
“We have advised our Filipino chaplains to offer Holy Masses for the safety of OFWs in Libya, praying civil war ends and there would be peace and stability there,” he said in an interview.
The Balanga, Bataan prelate then reiterated his appeal to OFWs there to heed the Philippine government’s call for repatriation for their own safety.
“They have to be very careful and heed our DFA’s call for repatriation. One’s priority now is safety. Life is more important than anything else,” said Santos.
“All are worried about their situations. So follow the instructions of our DFA,” he added.
Earlier, the Philippine Embassy in Libya appealed to the families in the Philippines of Filipinos in Tripoli to help in convincing them to go home.
“We understand they are here to provide for their families back home but the situation here is becoming increasingly dangerous for those who want to stay. Like their loved ones in the Philippines, we just want our kababayan here to be safe. We want to bring them home alive,” read their Facebook post.
“On Tuesday, we had that rocket attack on a neighborhood in Tripoli where more than 200 Filipinos are residing. One Filipino was wounded in that incident. On Wednesday, mortars struck a hospital with 18 Filipinos in the outskirts where heavy fighting is taking place. Today, at least six Filipinos remain trapped in fighting in their neighborhood in Tripoli,” it further read.
“We were at the St. Francis Church yesterday to talk to our kababayan but they told they would rather stay. Despite all our efforts, we just could not convince our kababayan here to take our offer to bring them home while we still can. If we cannot do it, then perhaps their families in the Philippines can,” read the post.