Philippines orders Filipinos to leave Libyan capital

Philippine officials say they have issue a mandatory evacuation order for more than 1,000 Filipinos in the Libyan capital amid escalating fighting, rocket fire and airstrikes.

Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Emmanuel Fernandez said Wednesday the government issued the order after the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli warned that it “could no longer guarantee the safety and security of Filipinos who chose to remain despite repeated appeals for them to go home.”

Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. says despite the order, officials cannot force Filipino workers and their dependents to abandon Tripoli.

Manila’s top diplomat in Tripoli, Elmer Cato, says he ordered the embassy’s roof to be partly covered with a huge Philippine flag in hopes it won’t be bombed.

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