Marcos apologizes to OFWs in UAE for canceling trip due to Red Sea hostage crisis
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. extended his apologies to the Filipino community he was supposed to meet in the United Arab Emirates, saying he had to prioritize the hostage situation in the Red Sea.
Marcos canceled his trip to Dubai for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at the last minute on Thursday, saying he had to arrange a delegation to be sent to Iran to handle the hostage situation.
“Dapat magkasama tayo ngayon sa malaking pagtitipon ng Filcom (Filipino community) sa iba’t-ibang bansa. Kaso na nga lang, medyo malungkot kasi hindi tayo natuloy. Alam naman ninyo may mga bagay na kailangan agad asikasuhin. Isa na dun, yung ating mga kababayan, mga kapwa Pilipino natin na na hostage. Seventeen sila na hostage,” Marcos said in a video message released to the media late Thursday night.
(We would have been together in a big gathering of the Filipino community from different countries. However, it is a bit sad that it did not follow through. You know that there are things we need to tend to. One of them is regarding our fellow countrymen, the Filipinos who were held hostage. There are 17 of them.)
Marcos said that the government is exhausting all efforts to bring home the 17 Filipinos safely.
The President lamented being unable to meet with the Filipinos, as it was usually a celebration filled with joy. However, he said would he would make it up to the Filipino community at the next opportunity.
“I feel very bad that I will not be able to do it with you this time,” said Marcos.