KASAMA Vol. 11 No. 4 / OctoberNovemberDecember 1997 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network
Ongoing civil war in a number of African countries continues to pose a threat to the safety of Overseas Filipino workers deployed there.
Somalian rebels took a Filipina development worker hostage for five days in March 1997. Gina Farrales was working for CARESomalia, a civic organization, when she and her group were chanced upon by the rebel group. They were eventually released.
Marceline Alime is not as lucky. Alime, a forest engineer, is still being held hostage by Angolan separatists. Together with a Malay engineer, Alime was accused of spying for the Angolan government when they were captured in Brazzaville, Zaire.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs brushes off the Alime incident as not serious enough to recommend cancelling deployment of OFWs to wartorn Angola. Officials were quoted as saying workers deployed to this country had been warned of the political situation and the risks involved prior to their deployment.
Miriam Tugawin & Dennis Estopace
(Reprinted from T.N.T. No.17 April/June 1997)