Marcos prioritizes release of 17 Filipino seafarers held in Red Sea

Kristine Daguno-Bersamina - Philstar.com
Marcos prioritizes release of 17 Filipino seafarers held in Red Sea
A grab from handout footage released by Yemen's Huthi Ansarullah Media Centre on November 19, 2023, reportedly shows members of the rebel group during the capture of an Israel-linked cargo vessel at an undefined location in the Red Sea. Israeli ships are a "legitimate target", Yemen's Huthi rebels warned on November 20, a day after their seizure of the Galaxy Leader and its 25 international crew following an earlier threat to target Israeli shipping over the Israel-Hamas war.
AFP / Ansarullah Media Centre

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has committed to utilizing all available means to ensure the safe return of 17 Filipino seafarers being held hostage by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Marcos expressed regret on Thursday evening for not attending a gathering of the Filipino community in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, after canceling his scheduled trip for the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28).

The decision was made to address pressing developments concerning the captured seafarers.

“Alam naman ninyo may mga bagay na kailangan agad na asikasuhin. Isa na dun ‘yung ating mga kababayan, mga kapwa Pilipino natin na na-hostage, 17 sila na na-hostage at ginagawa natin lahat ng paraan upang sila ay maiuwi na,” Marcos said in a video message released on late Thursday.

(We know that there are some things that need to be prioritized, and among them is the well-being of the 17 Filipinos who were held hostage. We are doing everything possible to bring them home soon.)

“Kaya’t binubuo natin ang isang delegasyon para pumunta sa kanila at makipag-usap dun sa mga may hawak sa kanila para makauwi na sila. Kaya’t, siguro naman maunawaan ninyo, na inuna muna natin ‘yan dahil kailangan nating tiyakin ang syempre ang seguridad ng ating mga kababayan,” he added.

(We have formed a delegation to secure the release of the seafarers from the rebel group. I hope you understand that we have to prioritize it because we need to guarantee their safety.)

Marcos also assured continued government efforts to support Filipino nationals affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict. He noted the successful repatriation of some Filipinos, facilitated by various government agencies.

The Houthis, known to be an ally of Iran, have recently intensified their attacks by launching long-range missile and drone attacks towards Israel, showing solidarity with the Hamas militants engaged in conflict within the Gaza Strip.

On Thursday, Marcos, who has often mentioned the need to address climate change in his speeches, unexpectedly announced on X (formerly Twitter) that he would skip COP28.

Marcos said that Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga will lead the Philippine delegation in his place. — with a report from Gaea Katreena Cabico

vuukle comment




  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with