MANILA, Philippines -- Contrary to the statement of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, there have been no new Filipino seamen released by Somali pirates, the Department of Foreign Affairs clarified Wednesday.
DFA Undersecretary Esteban Conejos said Ermita was referring to the nine Filipino seamen released last Wednesday.
The nine were from the M/T BBC Trinidad and they arrived in the country September 19, Friday.
Thus, the number of Filipino seafarers with Somali pirates remains at 97, including one who died during the takeover of the ship.
The Filipinos from the eight ships: Stella Maris with 20 Filipino seamen; Bunga Melati2 with 10 (the single casualty included here); Irene with 15; Iran Deyanat with 2; Bunga Melati5 with 5; Stolt Valor with 2; Centauri with 26; and Captain Stephanos with 17.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net) quoted Ermita as saying that seven Filipino seamen were freed unharmed by Somali pirates.