“Our first concern is the crew, Filipino and other nationalities. Lives matter the most; no harm will come to them of course; this is Iran; but the anxiety hurts families. First to be let go should be the crew. Already in touch,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said yesterday on Twitter.
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Release crew of UK vessel, Philippine urges Iran
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - July 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government has asked Iran to free the crewmembers – one of whom is a Filipino – of a United Kingdom oil tanker seized by Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz.

“Our first concern is the crew, Filipino and other nationalities. Lives matter the most; no harm will come to them of course; this is Iran; but the anxiety hurts families. First to be let go should be the crew. Already in touch,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said yesterday on Twitter.

Iranian authorities seized the MT Stena Impero while it was transiting last Friday through the Strait of Hormuz, triggering condemnation from the British government.

Aboard the vessel were a Filipino,18 Indians, three Russians and a Latvian.

The United Kingdom has urged Iran to reverse its “illegal” seizure of Stena Impero, saying the act “raises very serious questions” about the security of British and international shipping in the strait.

“They’re safe. Iran has always had the highest regard for Filipinos who are treated as special residents and citizens because Filipinos stuck it out with Iran after the thieving Shah and his thieving friends in the professional class fled the country. I’ve been there,” Locsin said.

The secretary said Iran has “always treated Filipinos with the greatest consideration and the highest regard for their safety.” 

“They released two Filipino prisoners who were convicted of smuggling contraband, upon my request,” he added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said Philippine Ambassador to Iran Fred Santos has reached out to Iranian authorities for the immediate release of the still unidentified Filipino crewmember of Stena Impero.

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS MT STENA IMPERO
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