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Philippines negotiating release of 4 kidnapped Pinoy seafarers in Nigeria

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is negotiating for the safe release of four Filipino seamen kidnapped in Nigerian waters, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported yesterday.

“They have yet to be released, but somebody is negotiating already,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

Bello noted the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is closely monitoring the condition of the four Filipino seafarers.

Based on the latest report from the POLO, Bello said, the four seamen are doing fine despite being in captivity.

It was reported that four Filipinos and two foreign seafarers were kidnapped from their ship last Saturday as it approached a port in the Niger Delta, a hotspot of kidnapping in the last few years.

The six are part of a German container vessel crew – four Filipinos, a Ukrainian and Hungarian national.

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A spokesman for the shipping company Peter Doehle Schiffahrts KG said Tuesday “the top priority is to try and establish contact with the kidnappers and try to have a quick and safe release of our seafarers.”

At the time of the statement there was no official contact with the kidnappers and the vessel had moved away from Nigerian waters with the 12 remaining crew safe, the spokesman said.  – With Reuters

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