Gov't commits to bring Filipino seafarers in Houthi-hit ship to safety

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

June 14, 2024, 8:05 pm

<p>President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday said the Philippine government is coordinating with the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) to help safely evacuate the Filipino seafarers on board the merchant vessel MV Tutor, which suffered from the recent Houthi rebels' attack in the high-risk Red Sea.

President Marcos stressed that the government is exhausting all remedies to bring the Filipino crew to safety as soon as possible, including a close collaboration with the UK maritime agency.

“Sa ating mga kasama na Filipino seafarers na nakasakay nung MV Tutor na binomba at ngayon ay hindi malaman ang gagawin ay mayroon -- lahat ng maaring gawin ay ginagawa na namin (To our fellow Filipino seafarers on board MV Tutor that was attacked with a [drone] bomb and don't know what to do -- we are doing everything we can),” President Marcos said in a video message on Friday.

President Marcos said the government will find ways to bring the Filipino seafarers home.

“Mula sa Djibouti, gumagawa rin kami ng mga arrangements para makapunta na kayo, maka-uwi na muna kayo. Kaya’t patuloy ang aming paghanap ng tulong sa ating mga kaibigan para madala na kayo sa Djibouti (From Djibouti, we are making arrangements so that you would be able to return home. So we are constantly seeking help from our friends to bring you to Djibouti),” he said.

Some Filipinos were on board the Greek-owned and Liberia-flagged freighter MV Tutor when it was struck by a Houthi unmanned surface vessel (USV) while traversing the Red Sea on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) condemned the attack and said the Philippine government will take all necessary measures to secure the safety and well-being of the Filipino crew on board.

The DFA also called on the United Nation member states to protect the human rights of seafarers.

The United States Central Command reported on Thursday that the vessel “most recently docked in Russia.”

The impact of the USV, it said, caused severe flooding and damage to the engine room. (PNA)