GMA LEADS THANKSGIVING MASS FOR 3 FREED FILIPINO WORKERS
MANILA, June 26, 2005 (OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY, MALACANANG) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led today a thanksgiving mass for three overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were kidnapped in Iraq and Afghanistan but were subsequently released following successful negotiations between the government and the abductors.
Before the 3 p.m. mass at the Rizal Hall in Malacanang, the President first met with Robert Tarongoy at Malacanang’s Study Room. She then escorted Tarongoy to the Music Room where she introduced him to Angelo dela Cruz and Angelito Nayan, two other Filipino workers who were kidnapped while working abroad.
Dela Cruz was abducted in Iraq on July 4, 2004 and was held captive for two weeks. The 46-year-old father of eight escaped beheading after the government withdrew its small humanitarian contingent from Iraq two weeks ahead of schedule.
Dela Cruz was freed on July 20.
Tarongoy was released only last Wednesday after almost eight months in captivity in Iraq.
United Nations (UN) volunteer worker Angelito Nayan was snatched in Kabul, Afghanistan while helping organize that country’s first direct presidential elections.
Nayan was with two other UN workers -- Annetta Flanigan of Northern Ireland and Shqipe Hebibi of Kosovo – when they were abducted.
A career foreign service officer and a former aide to then Senate majority leader Alberto Romulo, Nayan was freed unharmed and in good health on Nov. 23, 2004 after almost four weeks in captivity.
Monsignor Augusto Laban of the San Miguel parish officiated at the mass.
Among those present were Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Jose Brillantes, and Ms. Gina de Venecia.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
© Copyright, 2005
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