MANILA Local authorities have successfully rescued the two Filipinos reportedly abducted in Iraq, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.
Citing reports from the Philipine Embassy in Baghdad, the two were rescued in Diyala province north of the Iraqi capital on Saturday and are now in police custody.
We thank God for the successful rescue of our two kababayans, DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement issued shortly after he was informed of the development.
Their safe recovery would not have been possible without the swift response of our Iraqi friends and for that we are very grateful, he added.
In his report to Cayetano, Charge D'affaires Julius Torres said the two were rescued from a criminal group that forcibly took them on Friday, adding that several members of the group were also arrested during the police operation.
Meanwhile, the Embassy already requested access to the two rescued women and the two other Filipinos who were earlier taken into custody after escaping from the same armed men.
According to the Embassy, the rescued victims came from Erbil in the northern Kurdistan Region and were on their way to Baghdad when they encountered the armed men along the highway in Uzem District between Kirkuk and Diyala.
The women were reportedly taken by the armed men after their driver abandoned the vehicle, but the two of the four were able to escape.
Torres said the Embassy will request custody of the four Filipinos as soon as the police investigation is completed and will immediately process their repatriation.
To date, the DFA said there are an estimated 4,000 Filipinos working in Iraq, with around 3,000 based in Kurdistan. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency