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Phl verifying arrest of 2 Pinoys in Saudi

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - January 8, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine embassy in Riyadh is verifying a report that two Filipinos were arrested in Saudi Arabia on suspicion of being terrorists.

Speaking to reporters, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose yesterday said the embassy was having difficulty getting information on the reported arrest of the Filipinos.

“Our embassy in Riyadh led by the ambassador is getting in touch with the relevant government agency of Saudi Arabia trying to get confirmation, but it is not easy so the embassy is still trying to get information,” he said.

A report in the Saudi newspaper Arab News said two of the 29 alleged terrorists police arrested this week are Filipinos.

Saudi security men arrested two Philippine passport holders after detaining a Malaysian expatriate on terrorism charges, the report added.

Armed Forces spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said the military has not received reports that two Filipinos have been arrested as suspected terrorists in Saudi Arabia.

“We have no information that came to our attention from our sources and personnel,” he said. “We’re still verifying that, but there is no basis for that report for now.”

 

2 Filipino seafarers injured in air strike

Two Filipino seafarers were injured in an air strike on a Greek-flagged tanker in a Libyan port on Jan. 4, the DFA said yesterday.

Speaking to reporters, Jose said a third Filipino seafarer reported to have also been injured was only escorting his two comrades to the hospital.

“He was not injured,” he said.

He identified the two injured Filipinos as second engineer Ricardo Makiramdam of Antipolo, Rizal and able seaman Leonel Huerto of Mindoro Occidental.

Jose said Makiramdam underwent abdominal surgery to remove shrapnel in his intestine. “The operation was successful, and he will be taken out of ICU soon,” he said. “The doctors expect a full recovery.”

Huerto suffered shrapnel injuries in the foot, he added.

They are currently recuperating in hospital, he said.

Jose said 20 other Filipino seafarers were on board the Greek-flagged vessel, which was allowed to leave the Port of Derna in Libya on Tuesday.

“So that is where the 20 other Filipino seafarers are now – in Tobruk Port also in Libya,” he said.

“At this point the priority is our Filipino seafarers, their well-being and our priority is to get them back on their feet and repatriate them back to the Philippines as soon as possible.” – With Sheila Crisostomo, Alexis Romero

ALEXIS ROMERO ARAB NEWS ARMED FORCES CHARLES JOSE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS LEONEL HUERTO OF MINDORO OCCIDENTAL PORT OF DERNA RESTITUTO PADILLA RICARDO MAKIRAMDAM OF ANTIPOLO SAUDI ARABIA
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