By Charmaine A. Tadalan

THE number of overseas Filipino workers repatriated from strife-torn Libya has risen to 32, the Philippine Embassy to Tripoli, Libya has reported.

The Embassy noted its latest rescue of 13 factory employees, who were sent to the Philippines with assistance from their Libyan employer.

“Thirteen Filipino carpet factory workers displaced by the fighting in Tripoli were repatriated by their employer via Misrata this afternoon,” Chargé d’ Affaires (CDA) Elmer G. Cato said in a social media post, Sunday.

“This brings to 32 the number of Filipinos repatriated from Tripoli since fighting began on 4 April.”

The Embassy said the factory employees were first evacuated to Khoms before being flown out of Misrata.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr., for his part, expressed his gratitude in a social-media post on Sunday, saying, “When and if the President lets me go to Libya I will kiss their employer.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had earlier reported there are over 1,000 Filipinos in Tripoli, and also appealed to Filipinos in Libya as well as their families in the Philippines to avail of themselves of repatriation for their safety.

The Embassy, in coordination with the DFA and the Department of Labor and Employment, rescued eight OFWs last week.

Mr. Cato reported on April 26 that the eight have already arrived in Manila.