Muscat: Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte has formed a taskforce to deal with an unfolding hostage crisis in Libya that involves three Filipinos and one South Korean national, according to his spokesperson Harry Roque.
Presidential Spokesperson Roque said, “Of course, he (Duterte) has stated previously that he was thinking about sending frigates together with the Koreans, to at least send the message that the President takes the plight of the Filipino overseas workers very seriously. But he has since considered the advice of the Cabinet to first form a task force."
Roque said the task force will be headed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Abdullah Mamao, and Mindanao Development Authority chief Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto.
“The status right now is that we have formed a high-level, all Cabinet-member team to deal with the Libyan government and help in the effort to recover two [sic] of our countrymen who were kidnapped together with a South Korean national,” Roque said.
Roque, meanwhile, emphasised that it was “more prudent” to work with the Libyan government in rescue operations since the kidnappers were not state agents of Libya.
With inputs from Philippines News Agency