Three Filipino civil engineers who have been freed on Friday following months of captivity in Libya have finally returned home.
The freed hostages, whose names were withheld by the Department of Foreign Affairs, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Saturday morning on board Philippine Airlines Flight PR-0659.
Manila International Airport Authority chief information officer Connie Bungag said the three were accompanied by Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Hjayceelyn Quintana when they arrived at the airport.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. welcomed the three engineers at the airport.
“We are glad that we are able to bring them home alive and safe to their families. These Filipinos coming home to their families are living proof that the Department of Foreign Affairs will never leave a Filipino in danger behind,” he said.
Locsin also thanked the United Arab Emirates and other countries for their “intensive efforts” that resulted in the release of the three Filipinos who were held hostage along with a South Korean colleague in July 2018.
The DFA, through the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs, shouldered their airline tickets to Manila and provided them with cash assistance.
The United Arab Emirates worked closely with the self-styled Libyan National Army led by commander Khalifa Hifter for the release of the four hostages.
The four are civilian engineers who were working at a desalinization plant in Libya.
The three Filipino engineers and their South Korean colleague were taken by armed men from the project site of the Great Man-Made River Project in the southern part of Libya on July 6, 2018.
The four were initially airlifted to Abu Dhabi before being taken to their home countries.