OFWs in Libya Exploited, Abducted and Terminated

The abduction

April 2 began like any other working day for Ramos and his colleagues until they were asked by their foreman to return to their dormitories. Upon arriving at their room, Ramos was surprised to see Omar in his room. They were informed that the company would be transferred and that the four of them would be working in the palace of a prince. They were also informed that cellular phones were not allowed in the palace and Omar would confiscate their phones. Ramos said that they believed in what Omar was saying. “Kinamayan pa nga niya kami,” (We even shook hands.) he added.

However, the supposed prince’s palace turned out to be a high fenced abandoned house. Ramos told Bulatlat that he noticed that construction materials were scattered all over the place.

Siguro para pag mayroong naghanap sa amin, o pag hinanap kami ng Philippine Embassy, ang sasabihin ay nagtatrabaho kami doon,” (Maybe the construction materials were scattered to give the impression that they were working there in case somebody or the Philippine Embassy would look for them.) Ramos speculated.

The next day, the guards told them to sign a document stating that they agreed to the termination of their contract.

“Kung hindi niyo pipirmahan yan e uuwi kayo sa Pilipinas ng walang pera,” (If you do not sign the document, the company would send you home, penniless.) Ramos quoted the guards as saying. The following day, at around 9:30 a.m., they were sent to the airport.

Filing of complaints

Ramos shared his story in a press conference organized by Migrante International April 22. Along with other OFWs who were victims of contract substitution and illegal dismissal, they have decided to file complaints against their respective recruitment agencies and some government officials and agencies involved such as the POEA.

John Monterona, Migrante Middle East coordinator, said, in an interview, that there is a possibility that this cycle of abuse would continue. He told Bulatlat, “Mukhang kumikita rin ang agencies dahil ang mismong mga agency na ang nagrerefer sa mga lending companies,” (It seems that recruitment agencies also earn from the interest payments on the debts of OFWs since they are the ones who refer OFWs to lending companies.)(Bulatlat.com)

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4 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. i write from tunisia…i am looking for information about the boss of CIFEX “SLIM RIAHI”…he is now in tunisia acting in business and politics…is it possible to know if “cifex” is his own compagny or belonged to the kaddafi family
    thank you very much

  2. To Mohamed

    Sir,tatanong lang po kung gaano katagal ang pagkuha ng working visa sa Libya Five Months na po ako nag a2ntay hanggang ngayon ala pa,galing po ako U.A.E ililipat po ako dyan sa Tripoly CCIC Com.ko,dito po sa Pinas inaayos mga papers ko papunta dyan kaso hanggang ngayon ala pa.sabi ng Agency ko mahigpit rw pgkuha visa dyan,sana mabigyan nyo ako ng tamang kasagutan salamat po.SAFETY OFFICER

  3. Hinde naman nakakatulong yang si John Monterona dito sa mga OFW sa Libya subukan nya pumunta dito at tumira para malaman nya ang present situation. Nanggugulo lamang sya, hinde nya pinag aaralan ang sinasabi nya bago nya sabihin. Kumento lang sa isang Pari na nagngangalang Allan Arcebuche sya ang gumagawa ng gulo sa mga bagong OFW sa Libya naturingan pa naman syan pari ay isa din syang tanga at walang alam, hinde pinag aaralan ang mga sinasabi.at hinde din sya alliance ng mga OFW dito, sya pa nga ang nag papa away away dito sa mga Pilipino na nandito, imbes na pagkaisahin nya ang mga Pilipino ay para nya itong pinag sasabong. Gaya ng mga nag trabaho na yan sa CIFEX sya ang nag udyok sa mga yan na umalis sa trabaho pero hinde naman nya natulungan akala lang nya makakatulong ang ginawa nyang pag uudyok na umalis sila sa trabaho pero hinde. Sana naman kung nagbabalak kayo ng tulong yung pang matagalan wag yung panandalian lang, at baka nag papa pogi points lang yang mga yan sa mga taga Libya mga may pinag aralan ang mga tao dito hinde mga tanga…

  4. i am glad that your kind of journalism is factual and very responsible. it is always best to be truthful and if we fight for the right of our fellow OFWs it must be in the spirit of truth and fairness as the DFA says, unlike other publications who exaggerate and defeat their purpose of promoting justice.

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