Politics

Marcos celebrates release of final Filipino hostage from Hamas

Manila, Nov 29 (EFE).- Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced Wednesday the release of a Filipino woman kidnapped by Hamas and said there are no longer any hostages left from the country in the hands of the Islamist group.

“Just days after expressing concern for Noralyn Babadilla’s whereabouts, I am very happy to announce that Noralyn is safely back in Israel, becoming the second Filipino released from Gaza,” Marcos Jr. wrote on X (formerly Twitter.)

Unlike the first released Friday during the beginning of the ceasefire, a man who has already received a medical discharge, the second hostage is a woman who was not on the official list of the Philippines as being kidnapped by Hamas and had been declared missing.

She was released Tuesday night and was part of the group of 10 women released by Hamas, which also included two dual Argentine and one Austrian nationals, along with two Thai men.

“With this positive development, I am pleased to inform the nation that all Filipinos affected by the war have been accounted for,” the Philippine president said.

In his message, Marcos said he thanked the officials of the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv and Israeli authorities for “facilitating the release,” as well as the governments of Egypt and Qatar for mediating the current ceasefire.

Before the start of the conflict on Oct. 7, there were about 30,000 Filipinos in Israel, many of them workers in the elderly care sector, of whom only a few hundred decided to return to their country.

In addition to these two kidnapped people already released, the Philippines reported the passing of two other Filipinos who died during the assault by the armed wing of the Islamist group against southern Israel, which responded by declaring war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip. EFE

fil-nc/lds

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