June 17, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

18 Filipino seafarers in Iranian custody in good condition

THE government assured the families of 18 Filipino seafarers in Iranian custody that they are in good condition following the seizure this week of their vessel in the Gulf of Oman.

“Well, officially po of course ang Department of Foreign Affairs iyong lead dito, nakikipag-ugnayan tayo. Ang Department po ay naka-focus doon sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa pamilya po nitong ating mga kababayan,” Migrant Workers Undersecretary Patricia Yvonne Caunan said in a news forum in Quezon City on Saturday.

“Sa ngayon naman po, maganda naman po ang update dito, nasa maganda silang kalagayan at patuloy po ang DMW na makipag-ugnayan sa DFA para i-monitor iyong kanilang sitwasyon.”

Caunan, Department of Migrant Workers’ (DMW) Undersecretary for Policy and International Cooperation, said that the DFA will give an update on the condition of the Filipino seafarers in the coming days particularly on the ongoing negotiation for their release.

Iran has seized the tanker carrying Iraqi crude in retaliation for the confiscation last year of the same vessel and its oil by the United States, according to Iranian state media reports.

St. Nikolas tanker, manned by a crew of 19, including 18 Filipino nationals and one Greek national, was seized by the Iranian Navy, its operator said.

With regard to the 17 Filipino seafarers being held by Houthi rebels following their vessel’s seizure in the Red Sea, Caunan said the seafarers are in good condition.

“Ang maganda pong nangyari dito doon sa pakikipag-ugnayan—I hope you understand na hindi ko lang po sana masabi iyong mga detalye but what I can say po is that we we’re informed that our seafarers are nasa magandang kondisyon po,” she said.

“Patuloy po iyong negosasyon at ang DFA po ang nasa lead po rito. Kami po ay umaasa na, very soon po ay may magandang development dito po na mangyari.”

The 17 Filipino crew members of Galaxy Leader cargo ship are being held by the rebels following the vessel’s seizure in the Red Sea last November.