Government OKs private guards on ships to protect seamen

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The Philippines has given Manila-flagged merchant vessels the go-ahead to employ private security on board to protect Filipino seafarers from Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The move, however, is “subject to the Philippine shipping companies’” adherence to strict guidelines promulgated by the Maritime Industry Authority and the International Maritime Organization (IMO),” the DFA said Monday.

“In their participation at meetings to combat piracy in the IMO, the United Nations and other fora, Philippine government officials have been advocating the importance of promoting the safety of Filipino seamen. This advocacy is supported by other governments,” it said.

Pirates in east Africa continue to hold 26 Filipino seamen hostage on board three foreign-flagged vessels.

“The longest one in detention is a crew member of the MV Iceberg 1, which was hijacked on Jan. 29, 2010, off the Port of Aden in Yemen,” the DFA said.

Between 2006 and 2011, a total of 769 sailors from the Philippines were seized by pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. It is believed that all but the 26 were released unharmed and upon payment by their principals of ransom.

Earlier this month, the DFA said the government had come up with a plan to protect Filipino sailors from Somali pirates.

The plan calls for, among other measures, the adoption of what the merchant shipping industry refers to as “best management practices,” said Raul Hernandez, the foreign office spokesperson.

These practices—or ship protection measures—include watch and lookout arrangements, installing antipiracy alarms and razor wire around the vessels, using water cannons that blast steam and hot water as deterrents, and wearing night vision optics.

The government is “also making arrangements with the ships’ foreign principals and local manning agencies to travel along a safe corridor” in shipping routes, Hernandez told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The Philippines is a member of the 70-nation Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, which includes the United States, China, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, among other countries.

The group has “facilitated the operational coordination of an unprecedented international naval effort from more than 30 countries working together to protect transiting vessels; worked to build the capacity of Somalia and other countries in east Africa to combat piracy; and launched a new working group aimed at disrupting the pirate enterprise ashore, including its financial network through approaches similar to those used to address other types of organized transnational crime networks,” said a US Department of State report posted on the website of the US Embassy in Manila.

In a related development, Koji Sekimizu, the new IMO secretary general, is scheduled to visit Manila next month to “confer with senior government officials on the various approaches that could be pursued to resolve the piracy threat off Somalia. The Philippines will be the first country he will visit after his meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York later this month,” said the DFA.

Early this month, Ambassador Enrique Manalo, the country’s envoy to the UK and concurrently its permanent representative to the IMO, called on the IMO head at the agency’s London headquarters.

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  • Anonymous

    At least tataas na ang standard ng PADPAO… Ma.isama na sa qualification ng mga sikyu ang SOLAS… magkaroon na rin sila ng training kagaya ng Navy Seals…wahahahahaha!

  • Anonymous

     sino ang magbabayad ng mga security persons sa bawat biyahe na may mga pinoy cew sa mga barko na dadaan sa somalia, ha? confusing itong statement na ito ng DFA, baka “salita” ;ang ito, he, he, he?

  • Anonymous

    SECURITY GUARDS DOES NOT NEED SOLAS AT ALL. ALL ARMED GUARDS BOARDING ON SHIPS PASSING SOMALIA DO NOT HAVE SOLAS BUT RATHER VISA. HOWEVER, SECURITY IS NOT POWERFUL TO COMBAT THOSE. WHAT THEY SHOULD DEPLOY ARE THE MARINES WHO CAN KILL SOMALI PIRATES WHEN THEY GET CLOSER TO THE SHIP WITHOUT THINKING TWICE.

  • Anonymous

    dapat sundalo (NAVY OR MARINES) kagaya ng MALAYSIAN merchant vsls.lahat mga special forces nila ( 4) ang isinasama sa barko kapag dadaan ng indian ocean-red sea passage at easterns africa.D oobra kung privat guards lang kc dala na paltik na shotgun pa .Dapat marines o navy seals natin …para moderno dn ang gamit na machine gun at pang sniper rifles at may night vision gadgets pa.
    4 na locations gawing station ng palitan or sampahan ng mga armed AFP guard .SRI LANKA , MAURITIUS ,ENTRANCE NG RED SEA AT OMAN .
    At dapat sa mga ship security trainings ng pinoy crew..turuan ng paggamit o familiarization ng ibat-ibang baril (like AK47,machine gun,atbp)kc baka makatsambang maka-agaw ng baril –problema if papaanu gamitin o baka gawing panghampas na laang.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1169098493 Allan Monreal

    has a government official cornered a maritime security contract? security professionals are not allowed in iraq, afghanistan and other conflict zones, why the duplicity?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TFNGUIV72VHZ7WKJSRCVUNRTQA Sorry Guys

    Filipinos are one of the most talented people in Asia. But we still live in poverty. Why?

    It is because of our tradition of corrupt practices. We accept money and vote for the wrong leaders. (vote buying) It is natural for politicians to get back the millions /billions they “invested” in election campaign. They “invested” big bucks to earn 100 folds in return. Not because they are hunger for public service..

    Big time  businessmen  contribute for election campaign in order to get favors once their bet get elected. 

    Barangay level up to the top, no job is done unless grease money is given. Few years ago an international group conducted a survey in three metro cities. (Manial, Cebu, Davao) they interviewed thousands of lawyers in these cities. The survey says 60% of Justices accept bribes for favorable court decisions. 

    OMG! This is shocking! Justice can be brought? Think of thousands of innocent men and women wrongly sentenced and put behind bars! These wrongs and curses of the victims of injustice continue to hound our nation. That is why we became a land of calamities. It is all warning from God to repent and stay away from sin.

    We need righteous people in every government positions especially in the judiciary so we can expect prosperity and God’s mercy. 

    Its a dream of every Filipino….

      

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAHYJFI6OGUJI7THVMSETNJGVU Patrick Mendoza

    Walang katumbas sa kasinungalingan si TJ Corona, except ang boss nyang si Gloria. 

    Wag kayo magulat kung pagbintangan nyang sinungaling si Sister Flory.

  • parekoy

    GUN TOTTING JUDGE pala itong si MANG NATO..Dami kasi ng baril e..a gun maniac pero hindi naman marunong humawak sa kanyang hinahon at walang konsensya …mas kapanipaniwala pa ang affidavit ng isang namatay na caretaker kesa sa isang kagaya nitong si THIEF JUSTICE…

    He is an INTELLECTUAL BARBARIAN..at its best!!!!

  • antonioluna

     akala ko ba hindi si cheap dog ang supreme court hehehe, nahuhuli talaga ang magnanakaw este ang isda sa bibig hehehe

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