Baguio City cares for Libya captive’s family

Mayor Mauricio Domogan (PNA Photo)

The Baguio City government is checking on the needs of the family of one of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) kidnapped in Tripoli, Libya last 6 July, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said in a media briefing Wednesday afternoon.

The family of one of those kidnapped is from Baguio who is now grappling with psychological and emotional quagmire, including financial difficulties.

Domogan said although the family has not approached the city government for assistance, he has ordered the city’s social work office to visit them and see how the city government could be of help.

The family resides in one of the 128 barangays in the country’s summer capital.

“Tingnan natin kung ano kailangan nila,” the mayor said. “Up to this time, hindi naman sila humihingi ng tulong but we will ask the City Social Welfare and Development Office na tingnan ang pamilya ng constituent natin na unfortunately kasali sa kinidnap sa Libya (Let’s see what they need. They have not asked us for help but we will see what they need. We will ask the City Social Work and Development Office to check on the family of our constituent, who was unfortunately one of the kidnap victims in Libya).”

In an exclusive interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) last week, “Jane” (not her real name), the kidnap victim’s wife, said their family has been trying to cope with financial difficulty since her husband “Joey” (not his real name) was kidnapped.

When they learned of the kidnapping in July, there was no money for the enrollment of their eldest daughter, who is in third year college in one of the universities in the city. Their second child, who is in Grade 12 in one of the public schools in Baguio, started classes in June. Their youngest, who is in a private school, just resumed the school year on 6 August.

“Jane” said they can hardly make ends meet, as even food is scarce. The family has not yet received some financial assistance promised by her husband’s employer in the first week of July.

Their only wish now, though, is for her husband to get home safe.

Domogan said upon learning of the kidnapping incident involving a Baguio local, he immediately sent a letter to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano to know the situation of “Joey” and the two other Filipinos who were kidnapped. One is reportedly from the Bicol region, while the other is from Metro Manila. The other kidnap victim is a South Korean.

“Jane” told the PNA that when her husband left for Libya to return to his work there this year, their plan was for him to work there for only a year more, then come home for good after their eldest daughter graduates from college.

“Joey” was a member of an emergency rescue group in the city for over 15 years. His fellow volunteers in the group are now the ones helping his family cope up with their difficult situation by also giving “moral support”.

“Our group is now extending help to the family, also trying our best to give moral and spiritual support,” said one of the elders in a message to the PNA. “Joey is trained to survive difficult situations, (that’s why) with God’s blessings, he will make it.”

The DFA has said it is doing its best to bring home the three kidnapped Filipinos safe.

The kidnapping incident was circulated on social media.