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Monday, March 4, 2024

Pinoy seafarers held hostage in Red Sea are ‘fine’ — DFA

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The Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday said the 17 Filipino
seafarers who are among the hostages in the ship seized by Yemen’s
rebel group Houthi in the Red Sea are fine.

DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega said Houthi members have been
consistent in indicating that they will not hurt the hostages.

“The good news is that we do know that our seafarers are fine and that
the Houthi rebels have been indicating consistently that they do not
intend to harm them,” De Vega said, in an ANC interview.

De Vega said while he cannot predict when the Pinoy hostages will be
released, there have been instances before that Filipino seafarers
were taken in Yemen and all of them were eventually released.

“The government is still doing what it can. We’re on top of the
situation…We’ll get them out,” De Vega said.

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The DFA official added that some of the Filipino seafarers were able
to contact their families.

According to De Vega, the Houthi rebels were saying that they will
continue to do this as long as Israel kept on occupying and attacking
Gaza.

With the four-day truce between Israel and Palestinian militant group
Hamas set to start on Friday, De Vega said the Philippine government
is optimistic that it will also lead to the release of the hostages in
the ship.

On Wednesday, the DFA said 17 Filipino seafarers were among the
foreigners held hostage by Houthis earlier this week.

President Marcos has instructed the DFA to do everything to ensure the
safety of the Filipinos held hostage in the Red Sea.

The Houthis, an ally of Iran, have been launching long-range missile
and drone salvos at Israel in solidarity with the Hamas militants
fighting in the Gaza Strip.

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