DFA: Talks with states continuous for release of 17 Filipino hostages

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

December 8, 2023, 6:48 pm

MANILA – The Philippine government is carrying out “quiet diplomacy” to secure the release of 17 Filipinos being held hostage by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday, as it assures that coordination with foreign countries are ongoing.

DFA Undersecretary Eduardo Jose De Vega said 12 of the 17 were already able to contact their families in the Philippines and reported that none of them was hurt.

“[W]e’ll allow quiet diplomacy do the work kasi mayroon tayong mga partners sa ibang bansa na tumutulong din -- Japan of course, pati Greece (because we have partner countries that are also helping -- Japan of course and Greece),” he said.

Ang good news ay hindi sila sinasaktan. Iyon ang kumpirmado dahil kakontak nila pamilya nila (The good news is that they are not hurt and this was confirmed because they are talking with their families),” he added.

There is no definite date as of yet when the hostages will be released but De Vega hopes it would be before Christmas.

The official added that the government would provide necessary assistance to the 17 and their families. (PNA)