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Marcos says second Filipino hostage in Gaza freed by Hamas

MANILA, Philippines, November 29 ------ President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Noralyn Babadilla – the last Filipino whose whereabouts were previously unknown – has been released by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. “I am very happy to announce that Noralyn is safely back in Israel, becoming the second Filipino released from Gaza,” Marcos announced on X, previously known as Twitter. “With this positive development, I am pleased to inform the nation that all Filipinos affected by the war have been accounted for,” he added.

Marcos guaranteed that embassy officials in Tel Aviv will attend to Babadilla’s needs, in coordination with Israeli authorities. The news came days after the Philippine government confirmed that Filipino caregiver Jimmy Pacheco was among the two dozen hostages freed by Hamas fighters on their first day of truce with the Israeli government. Originally, six Filipinos were unaccounted for following the October 7 surprise Hamas attack in Israel. Four of them were later confirmed to have been among the 1,200 people – mostly civilians – killed.

That offensive by Hamas prompted a two-month bombardment by Israel in Palestine-occupied territories, leaving 14,000 people dead, according to Gaza’s health ministry. Independent experts at the United Nations have said that the root causes of the conflict include the 56-year occupation by Israel of Palestinian territories.



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