Monday, December 13, 2010

DFA vows to keep 24 captured Filipino seamen safe

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was working to ensure the safety of 24 Filipino seafarers on board the Panama-flagged vessel MV Renuar, seized by Somali pirates on Saturday.

In a release posted on its website on Monday, the DFA’s Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) said that it has instructed Capt. Gaudencio Collado, Philippine Liaison Officer to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in Manama, Bahrain to assist in the rescue efforts.

The European Union Naval Forces (EU NAVFOR) will attempt a rescue before the vessel, now en route to Somalia, reaches Somali waters.

DFA Undersecretary Esteban Conejos Jr. also instructed Collado to convey to the EU NAVFOR the Philippine Government’s “paramount concern" for the safety of the Filipino crew members.

The OUMWA likewise called on the Philippine Embassy in Athens to convey the same message to the vessel’s Greece-based owner.

The EU NAVFOR reported that the MV Renuar was hijacked about 1,050 nautical miles east of Somalia in the Indian Ocean. It was en route to Fujirah in the United Arab Emirates from Port Louis, Mauritius when it was attacked.

This came barely a day after Somali pirates released MV Eleni P and its 23 crew, which included 19 Filipinos.

There are 100 Filipino seafarers on-board eight vessels held captive by pirates, the DFA said.

The DFA-OUMWA said it continues to coordinate closely with the concerned Philippine embassies, the vessels’ principals and the local manning agencies for the early and safe release of all Filipino seafarers. - Jerrie M. Abella/DM, GMANews.TV

No comments:

Post a Comment