Hypocrisy seen on high seas

somalia-mapHypocrisy seen on high seas

What about Filipinos and other hostages?

Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted date: April 13, 2009

MOMBASA, KENYA—The international community is showing hypocrisy by suddenly focusing on Somali piracy because of the capture of one American, a regional maritime group said on Saturday.

Sea gangs from the lawless Horn of Africa nation grabbed world headlines this week when they briefly hijacked the US freighter Maersk Alabama. Its 20 crew retook control, but the gunmen took Capt. Richard Phillips hostage on a lifeboat.

The global media have tracked in great detail each twist and turn of the drama as it unfolds, including a failed attempt to swim to safety by the former Boston taxi driver.

But Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Program said it was a pity similar attention was not paid to the nearly 250 other hostages—all from poorer nations—currently being held by other Somali pirates.

The biggest nationality represented, at 92, is Filipino.

“The media and the international community at large [are] just demonstrating [their] hypocrisy,” Mwangura said in the Kenyan port of Mombasa, where the 17,000-ton Alabama arrived on Saturday.

“Journalists have flooded here from all over the world because of one American captain. What about all the others, from Bangladesh, from Pakistan, from the  Philippines, some of whom have been held now for months?”

Front-page drama

The story has all the front-page ingredients: Buccaneers audaciously try to seize a huge US container ship, its sailors resist, then Phillips apparently volunteers to board the lifeboat with the pirates in return for his crew’s safety.

Meanwhile, a state-of-the-art US naval destroyer armed with missiles, torpedoes and helicopters keeps a watchful eye.

And more warships are on the way.

Mwangura told Reuters, however, that did not excuse the lack of attention given to the scores of other hostages still being held for ransom off the Somali coast.

Media go crazy

“Once again, it has taken American involvement to get world powers really interested,” said a diplomat, who tracks Somalia from Nairobi. “I hope they don’t forget the Filipinos and all the others, once this guy is released.”

Heavily armed gangs from the failed state hijacked 42 vessels last year in thenstrategic Gulf of Aden and further south in the Indian Ocean, and tried to attack dozens more.


The crews of many of those ships are being held hostage near small pirate bases on the coast, where their captors tend to treat them well in anticipation of a sizeable ransom payout.

Mwangura said the same international focus had highlighted the long-running crime wave off Somalia in the past—but only when white people from rich nations were involved.

When the gangs seized the Saudi supertanker Sirius Star last year, everyone paid attention. Not just because it was carrying $100 million worth of crude oil, he said, but because it had two British crewmen on board, too.

“It was the same in 2005. The media went crazy when that luxury cruise liner, the Seabourn Spirit, was attacked with lots of white tourists on board. And they weren’t even hijacked.”




11 Responses to Hypocrisy seen on high seas

  1. naija pinoy says:

    After swift rescue of US captain, fate of 120 Filseamen remains in limbo
    04/14/2009 | 06:57 PM

    The wives of Filipino sailors Carlo Deseo and Rodell Boretta calls for the release of their husbands from the MT Stolt Strength. AP

    (Updated) MANILA, Philippines – The daring high-seas rescue of American ship captain Richard Philips might have momentarily brought the world’s attention back to Somalia, but it did little to bring to the fore the plight of the remaining 120 Filipino seafarers held captive there by pirates.

    Nelson Ramirez, president of Manila-based seafarer’s group United Filipino Seafarers said the international community seems to turn a blind eye to the larger population of Filipino crew members kidnapped by Somali pirates since November last year.

    “The entire incident is sensationalized because an American was held hostage,” Ramirez told GMANews.TV in an interview. “[But] when the number of Filipinos abducted by pirates swelled to 100, there was no reaction.”

    As this developed, reality television show, Spike TV, announced that it will follow US naval units hunting for pirates in the Gulf of Aden to bring “an up-close and behind-the-scenes look at the US Navy operation to end this deadly threat of piracy.”

    The International Maritime Bureau said there were 260 crewmembers on 14 hijacked ships being held off the coast of Somalia as of Tuesday. Seven of these hijacked vessels have a total of 102 Filipino seafarers involved.

    The number of Filipino seafarers being held hostage in Somalia have constantly yo-yoed — from 44 at the start of the year to 108 last month — as pirates continuously hijack ships passing through the Gulf of Aden, slowly releasing vessels only after ship owners willingly pay multi-million dollar ransom.

    Various US media entities gave a blow by blow account on the hijacking incident involving Capt. Philips, particularly the daring rescue that involved snipers shooting three of the four Somali pirates who have kidnapped the American ship officer. (For related story click here)

    No other than President Barack Obama praised the risky Sunday rescue and even vowed to work with other nations “to halt the rise of piracy.” But Somali pirates threatened to kill the remaining hostages should other countries attack them to free their nationals.

    Noting the danger faced by the hostages, Ramirez urged the Philippine government to use the newfound attention of the Western media and steer it toward the plight of Filipino seafarers.

    “It is high-time for the government to strengthen its representation in the UN to bring to the fore that many Filipino seafarers are being held against their will in Somalia,” Ramirez said.

    While the Philippine government is “relieved” to learn about the rescue of Capt. Philips, it remains mum on the issue of the reported ‘hypocrisy’ of the US in being concerned about the piracy in Somalia only because an American was abducted, while almost 100 Filipinos have been kidnapped since November 2008.

    Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ed Malaya told GMANews.TV that they are constantly working with their partners in securing the safe release and repatriation of the 98 Filipinos held by Somali pirates.

    Malaya noted that despite the pirates’ threats, they have not received any report of Filipinos deliberately hurt by the sea bandits. (Next: Filipino captain held in Somalia)



  2. I was surprised when one morning I checked my e-mail, there was an offer letter from the said company, AL QUAN RESOUCES INC., RESOURCES INC. in Nigeria, West Africa. I called already to POEA asking if this company is real or just a fraud. They told me that this not includes on the names of the accredited companies they have known. They have website and contact nos./persons which make them reliable. I hope you can give me advice or just warn me if I have to push/continue my application with them or just to stop. Thanks and more power!

    • francis says:

      Im also having the same problem… a friend forwarded me the e-mail address (alquanresources@hotmail.com) and i sent an email including my resume..

      after a few days they replied back with a job offer document attached…

      i forwarded the email to the consul of ghana and nigeria. i asked for verification of the legitimacy of the company but no avail..

      they told me to ask POEA.. i havent called the POEA yet..


    • nOeL says:

      i am in uae and i have received the same email
      is there a way to ask other pinoys working there if this true or not?

  3. naija pinoy says:

    Well, if it is “unsolicited email” (like you did not apply), and the salary rate is unusually high, then that is a fraud or scam.

    Specially if they start telling that you need to make advance payment for visa processing.

    The only way you can get an authentic job in West Africa is if you got the information from a fellow Filipino.

    Any unsolicited email should be considered a fraud or scam.

    • francis says:

      Im also having the same problem… a friend forwarded me the e-mail address (alquanresources@hotmail.com) and i sent an email including my resume..

      after a few days they replied back with a job offer document attached…

      i forwarded the email to the consul of ghana and nigeria. i asked for verification of the legitimacy of the company but no avail..

      they told me to ask POEA.. i havent called the POEA yet..

      JOVEN G. MACATANGAY <<<<<PLS EMAIL ME.. pausanosfrancisjude@yahoo.com

  4. cherie says:

    Hi! I happen to come across your inquiry about Al Quan Resources. My husband just received A Job Offer from said company yesterday, May 06, 2009.

    He was extremely excited about it! Well, who wouldn’t be? He was after all being offered a monthly salary of $7500(USD)!!!!

    I personally did some checking, and I absolutely believe this is just a SCAM!!!! I learned that Al Quan only employs around 11-50 persons. The company doesn’t even post job openings on their site and the address and contact number of the supposed solicitor Henry & Henry is different from the one listed on their actual website.

    SO BEWARE, PEOPLE!!!!!!!

    • nOeL says:

      what a scam.. i almost sned money for processing of the documents.. good thing i did some research and i found this site..

  5. naija pinoy says:

    it’s a SCAM.

    you can look it up in google.

    • nOeL says:

      let us play with them.. kunyari we will ask them their product and company info.. like this scam, where can we report this kind of fraud so they will not victimize other people especially filipinos?

  6. blesyang says:

    naka receive din ako ngayon lang.. 7500$ din sahud hahah kakatuwa naman. ano sila mayaman? tapos papakontak pa atorney nila am sure manghihingi lang yun ng pera para endorsement “kuno” hahah ..
    ingat kau lalo na pag sa nigeria kasi maraming scam tlaga. weeeeee weeeee wag kau basta2x papadala ng pera. ano sila sinuswerte? sabihin mo ikaltas muna nila sa sahud mo yung fee. tingnan natin kung papayag sila..

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