MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. will no longer attend the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP) 28 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) in Dubai, he announced Thursday.
In an X post, Marcos said he would skip the COP28 to convene a meeting for the deployment of a high-level delegation to Iran to provide assistance to 17 Filipino seafarers being held hostage by Houthi rebels on a ship in the Red Sea.
“In light of important developments in the hostage situation involving 17 Filipino seafarers in the Red Sea, I have made the decision not to attend COP28 in Dubai tomorrow,” Marcos said.
“Today, I will be convening a meeting to facilitate the dispatch of a high-level delegation to Tehran, Iran, with the aim of providing necessary assistance to our seafarers."
Marcos was supposed to leave Manila on Thursday morning for his Dubai trip.
He said he designated Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga as his representative at the COP28.
“I have entrusted DENR Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga to lead the COP28 delegation and articulate the country's statement on my behalf,” Marcos said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said the Filipino seafarers taken hostage in the Red Sea are “safe”.
The DFA is coordinating with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and foreign governments for their immediate release within the month or before Christmas.
The 17 Filipino seafarers were among the 25 Galaxy Leader crewmembers who were on board the cargo ship hijacked by the Houthi rebels on Nov. 19.
Other hostages are from Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Mexico. (PNA)