More than 800 OFWs flee Libya on chartered ship

By Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2014 05:26 PM | Updated as of Aug 16 2014 03:15 AM

MANILA – A total of 810 overseas Filipino workers in Libya boarded a Philippine-chartered ship that is now headed for Malta.

From Malta, the repatriated OFWs will then board three chartered Philippine Airlines flights for their return to the Philippines.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) latest update, 443 OFWs boarded the chartered ship at the port of Benghazi yesterday.

Another 367 OFWs boarded the ship on Friday at the port of Misrata.

Earlier reports said that 15 foreigners also boarded the ship in Benghazi.

The total number of 810 OFWs is far less than the 1,500 seating capacity of the ship. The three PAL flights which will fetch the OFW's in Malta are scheduled to leave late Friday afternoon. They are scheduled to return to the Philippines late evening Saturday or early morning Sunday.

Last month, the DFA ordered the mandatory evacuation of thousands of Filipinos in Libya following the deteriorating security situation in that country.

A Filipino construction worker was abducted and then beheaded by unknown suspects there last month while a Filipina nurse was abducted and gang-raped before being released also last month.