2 rescued Pinoy seafarers in Nigeria injured – DFA
05/19/2009 | 04:10 PM
MANILA, Philippines – Two of the Filipino seafarers rescued last weekend from a hijacked oil tanker in Nigeria were hurt, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos Jr. said the injured were among the nine Filipino seamen — not just six as earlier reported — who were rescued from Niger militants who hijacked the MV Spirit on May 13.
The MV Spirit had a seven other crew members of different nationalities, the DFa said.
“Two of the nine rescued Filipino seafarers had slight injuries,” Conejos said.
DFA Secretary Alberto Romulo had earlier dispatched Conejos to personally look into the condition and welfare of the Filipino seafarers on board the chartered oil tanker.
Quoting Nigerian army spokesperson Colonel Rabe Abubakar, the DFA reported that the latest operations brought the number of freed hostages to 13, including the nine Filipinos and four Nigerians.
“A consular team was sent to the city of Warri in Delta State where the hijacking took place, and the nine rescued Filipino sailors are expected to be turned over to the embassy’s custody shortly,” Conejos added.
Conejos and. Alex Lamadrid, Charge d’Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Abuja, had met and continue to communicate with the Nigerian foreign ministry and federal security officials for the safe and early release of the remaining Filipino seafarers in the custody of Nigerian militants, the DFA said.
After years of militant activity and lack of maintenance on crucial oil infrastructure, Nigeria produces about 1.6 million barrels of crude per day, or about one quarter less than its stated capacity
The Philippine government has stopped sending Filipino workers to Nigeria following hostilities and kidnappings of foreign nationals. Several groups have requested that Manila lift the deployment ban as the situation there continues to improve. – Mark Joseph Ubalde, GMANews.TV