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Monday, March 4, 2024

Marcos: Gov’t exhausting all efforts to secure 17 Filipino seafarers

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President Marcos on Wednesday assured the government’s commitment to securing the safe return of 17 Filipino seafarers taken hostage by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

In a Facebook post, President Marcos said the government is in close contact with various countries to secure the safety of the Filipinos held hostage.

“The safety of our 17 Filipino seafarers is of utmost concern. DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) is in coordination with their counterparts in Iran, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia for updates, and the DMW (Department of Migrant Workers) is in regular communication with the families of the hostages,” President Marcos.

“Our seafarers are not alone. The government is doing everything in our power to bring them safely home,” he added.

Yemeni rebels seized the cargo vessel Galaxy Leader and held captive its 25 crew members, including 17 Filipinos, in retaliation for Israel’s offensive in Gaza, the DFA revealed.

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The Bahamas-flagged, British-owned Galaxy Leader, with ties to Israeli businessman Abraham “Rami” Ungar, is operated by a Japanese firm.

In a statement, the DMW pledged its unwavering support and assistance to the families of the seafarers.

In response to the Red Sea incident, the United States, which has called for the immediate release of the ship and its crew, is considering designating Houthi rebels as a terrorist organization.

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