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Nasaan ang warships? Duterte creates task force to deal with Libya hostage crisis

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President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the creation of a high-level task force that would deal with the ongoing hostage crisis in Libya, just days after he declared he will send warships to the African state.

Duterte made the announcement during the Cabinet meeting Monday (August 6), said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

The task force will be headed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and composed of Muslim members of the Cabinet, including Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) Abdullah Mamao and Mindanao Development Authority Chair Datu Abul Khayr Alonto.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III will also be part of the team.

In a press briefing Tuesday (August 7), Roque said Duterte is putting his plan to send warships to Libya on hold because of the complicated nature of the hostage crisis.

Two Filipinos were among those kidnapped by an unidentified bandit group in Libya last month.

“The problem that complicates this latest case of kidnapping is that the kidnappers are not state agents of Libya. They are militias who are engaged in an armed conflict with the Libyan government,” Roque said.

“And that is why it was deemed more prudent to work with the Libyan government to see what the demands are,” he added.

Duterte recently threatened to send at least two frigates to Libya if the kidnappers harm the Filipino hostages.

Roque said the high-level task force will consult with the Libyan government on how to resolve the hostage crisis.