Seven Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), who have been acquitted from fuel smuggling charges in Libya, were finally reunited with their loved ones in the Philippines on Tuesday, according to the latest bulletin posted by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
They arrived in Manila on board a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul accompanied by Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Affairs Abdullah Mama-o and Philippine Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Mardomel Melicor.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac were also among those who welcomed the seafarers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.
The seafarers' wives and children have also eagerly awaited their return.
The sailors detained in Libya since 2017 were identified as Arthur Soria Taleno, master; Fulgencio Pederito Eulogio, first officer; Claro Camintay Allera, second officer; Abraham Senara Naduma, Jr., third officer; Ronnie Lumales Moniya, chief engineer; Gil Dellupac Cruzada, second engineer; and Aldwin Salang-oy Emperada, third engineer.
They were detained for allegedly smuggling six million liters of fuel.
The DFA, through the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli, worked with Libyan authorities to secure their release and kept the families of the seafarers in the Philippines constantly updated.
The Department also shouldered the cost of their repatriation and provided them with P100,000.00 each in financial assistance that was sourced from the P1-billion Assistance to Nationals Fund approved by the President. — BAP, GMA News