Government assisting Pinoy seafarers on ship attacked by Houthis

Michael Punongbayan, Helen Flores - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The government is exhausting all efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of Filipino seafarers onboard MV Tutor, which was attacked by Houthi rebels on Wednesday while traversing the Red Sea, President Marcos said.

“To our Filipino seafarers who were onboard the MV Tutor that was attacked… who don’t know now what to do, we are doing everything (to assist you),” the President said Friday in Filipino, in a video message posted on the Presidential Communications Office’s Facebook page.

Marcos said the Philippine government is coordinating with the UK Maritime Trade Operations and is looking for ways to safely transfer the Filipino seafarers to Djibouti where help is underway. 

“From Djibouti, we are also making arrangements for you to go—for you to go home first. So, we continue to seek help from our friends to bring you to Djibouti,” he said.

Some Filipinos were on board the Greek-owned and Liberia-flagged freighter, MV Tutor when Houthi rebels attacked their vessel while traversing the Red Sea on June 12. 

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs condemned the attack and gave assurance that the Philippine government would take all necessary measures to secure the safety and well-being of the Filipino crew on board. 

The DFA also called on the UN member states to protect the human rights of seafarers.

The Houthis have been launching sea attacks over Israel’s war on Gaza. In November last year, 17 Filipino seafarers were held hostage in the Red Sea as Houthi believed their ship was being operated by an Israeli company. 

Marcos has called for an end to attack on ships and respect for freedom of navigation. 

Almost a quarter of the world’s seafarers are Filipinos, according to recent data.  

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