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EXTRACTION

June 15, 2024 Chona Yu 76 views

TWENTY-ONE of the 22 Filipino seafarers on board the Houthi-hit MV Tutor were rescued already.

In a Palace statement, Migrant Workers Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac said the rescue was made a few hours after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. ordered government agencies on the same day to bring them to safety.

“Around 10:30 to 11:00 pm last night, nagkaroon ng rescue ang combined international forces doon and na-extract from the ship … so, in-extract ‘yung 21 Filipino seafarers and they were boarded on to a security forces ship and taken to safer port,” Cacdac said.

“I saw that they are all safe and sound. Nobody was harmed,” Cacdac said.

Cacdad added that the Filipino seafarers will undergo medical check-up first.

“Una, nagpahayag siya ng rescue is on its way. Tinugunan ng ating mahal na Pangulo ‘yung video ng mga seafarer. Humingi ng tulong sa kaniya at ang tugon niya: Don’t worry, rescue is on its way.

At ito na, at around midnight last night. Actually mga 11 o’clock,” Cacdac said.

“The President is elated over this development. And having said that, ‘yung utos ng ating Pangulo na hanapin ‘yung nag-iisang seafarer onboard the MV Tutor,” Cacdac added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has condemned the Houthi attack on the merchant vessel MV Tutor sailing on the Red Sea.

In a statement, the DFA confirmed that the Greek-owned but Liberian-flagged ship was carrying Filipino crew when it was struck by a Houthi unmanned surface vessel (USV) on June 12.

“The Philippine government will take all necessary measures to secure the safety and well-being of the Filipino crew on board and ensure justice,” it said. “We call on all UN member states to protect the human rights of seafarers. We remain steadfast in ensuring the safety and welfare of all Filipino seafarers worldwide.”

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.

FILIPINO MISSING

A Filipino crew member of MV Tutor, which was attacked by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, is missing, the Department of Migrant Workers said Friday.

In a virtual press briefing, Migrant Workers Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac said the Greek-owned bulk carrier have 22 crew members, mostly Filipinos, when its delicate parts and the engine room were damaged during the attack.

“Right now, we are still in the process of trying to ascertain. We’re trying to account for the particular seafarer in the ship and are praying that we could find him,” he said.

“Rest assured that all of the next of kin of the seafarers have been contacted,” he said.

Cacdac said the other seafarers on board are safe and he had checked with them through a video call.

“Everybody from the MV Tutor is safe and sound. I saw them personally on the video. Everybody is fine, at least from the video, and they are safe onboard the ship. And having said that, rescue must be undertaken,” he said.

Cacdac said they have coordinated with the Department of Foreign Affairs, manning agency and ship owner.

“The rescue is forthcoming within the day. I cannot disclose any details with respect to the rescue for security reasons,” he said.

The Gulf of Aden, including the Red Sea, is included in the expanded high-risk area, to provide better protection to seafarers, including Filipinos, following several attacks by the Houthi rebels.

Earlier this year, the DMW issued an advisory categorizing the “warlike and high-risk areas” where Filipino seafarers have to be given the right to refuse sailing with repatriation and compensation.

In the latest attack, Cacdac said they “have been informed that the seafarers did not exercise their right to refuse sailing and had consented to join the voyage.”

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