Gravesites of 4 OFWs killed by ISIS in Libya found 6 years later — PH embassy

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 2) — The remains of four Filipino oil workers in Libya, who were abducted and later executed by Islamic State militants in 2015, have finally been located, the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli said on Tuesday.

The migrant workers were identified as Donato Santiago, Gregorio Titan, Roldan Blaza, and Wilson Eligu. The four, along with two foreign coworkers, had been missing since they were kidnapped by ISIS fighters who attacked the Ghani Oil Field on March 6, 2015.

According to the Embassy, their gravesites were found on Monday in the Dahr Ahmar Islamic Cemetery in the city of Derna with the help of Libyan authorities.

Embassy Chief of Mission Elmer Cato said since the oil workers’ abduction, not much had been heard from them until 2017. This was when a video footage of their execution was supposedly found in a laptop seized from slain ISIS fighters in Derna. They were presumed dead, although their bodies were not recovered.

In 2018, Cato said they were informed that the remains of the four could be among those recovered and later buried by the Libyan Red Crescent in various parts of Derna. The Embassy explained that due to the unstable security situation, it was only able to send a search team to the city in October last year.

“After six long years, the families of our four kababayan [fellow Filipinos] will finally find closure,” he said. “We are indebted to our Libyan friends for making this possible.”

While the Embassy is convinced the bodies they found belong to the missing Filipino workers, Cato said the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs will still make arrangements for forensic experts to assist in confirming the identity of the remains, as well as bringing them home. The families of the four workers have already been informed of this development, Cato added.