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Senate commends labor attaché for rescuing OFWs in Libya

MANILA, Sept. 28 -– Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada on Wednesday joined his colleagues in commending Philippine labor attaché to Libya Nasser Mustafa for the daring rescue of two Filipino household workers from the ransacked house of deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s nephew.

“The courage and devotion to duty shown by Labor Attaché Nasser Mustafa and other members of his rescue team deserve the collective appreciation and commendation by the Philippine Senate,” Estrada said in his proposed Senate Resolution no. 611.

Estrada lauded also the cooperation extended by the two household workers of Gadhafi’s nephew, referring to Diana Jill Rivera and Mary Ann Ducos, who were recognized at the Senate plenary during Wednesday session.

”He (Mustafa) risked his life to save these two ‘kasambahays’ (household workers) because clearly their lives were at imminent danger from both the rebel and Gadhafi sides,” Estrada said.

The two Filipina kasambahays were rescued two days after a battalion of armed rebels ransacked the Gadhafi farmhouse on September 17.

With only the Philippine embassy driver and a Libyan interpreter as his companions, Mustafa proceeded to the farmhouse just to rescue the two OFWs and brought them safely across the Libyan border in Tunisia.

“While at times, we in the Senate are critical of how our embassies have failed to respond quickly to the needs of distressed OFWs, we are also quick to acknowledge those in the career service who perform their work diligently,” Estrada explained.

He said that the commendation would hopefully spur other embassy and labor officials to emulate the example set by Mustafa and his team.

“Labor Attaché Mustafa raised the bar in terms of service to our OFWs. While it was more convenient to simply wait for the National Transition Council to take over the helm of leadership in Libya, Mustafa decided to take the bolder route with the full knowledge and cooperation of the two household workers. Had he not taken this initiative, Diana Jill and Mary Ann would still be trapped in the Gadhafi farmhouse fearfully dreading the return of armed looters,” Estrada stressed.

The resolution also cited the Philippine Embassy as well as the Blas F. Ople Policy Center for helping Labor Attaché Nasser Mustafa attain his objective. According to Labor Attaché Mustafa, the Ople Center served as his conduit to the OFW families throughout the planning and implementation of the rescue operations. (PNA)

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