MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government apologized to the government of Malta after one of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) evacuated from Libya was left in the country after missing the chartered flight to bring them back to the Philippines.
“We have expressed our regrets for what happened through a note verbale to the government of Malta,” Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose said in a press briefing Monday.
“The Maltese authorities are investigating the case of Rodrigo Andres, the OFW evacuated from Libya who failed to board the second chartered flight from Malta last August 16. The Philippine government is extending its full cooperation in the investigation until its final resolution,” he said.
Andres was among the more than 700 OFWs evacuated from strife-torn Libya by ship and brought to Malta where two Philippine Airlines (PAL) chartered flights flew them back to Manila.
Reporters who were onboard the flight asked Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) welfare office Mario Antonio on the possibility that Andres chose to stay in Malta instead of board the plane back to Manila but he simply replied he doesn’t know.
“We have labor and welfare and DFA officials who can check his whereabouts at the airport,” Antonio told reporters before the plane went ahead with its flight after nearly an hour delay.
Jose said that more than 10,000 Filipinos still remain in Libya despite repeated calls for repatriation.
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