DFA says crew of seized container ship assured of safe release

DFA says crew of seized container ship assured of safe release

/ 08:25 AM April 15, 2024

DFA says crew of seized container ship assured of safe release

DFA logo and building facade. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Seafarers, including four Filipinos, aboard the container ship MSC Aries, which Iran seized on April 13, were given the assurance of eventual and safe release, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega said Monday.

In a radio interview, de Vega said all Filipinos aboard the 25-crew vessel seized by Iran while crossing the Strait of Hormuz are in good condition.


“Ang magandang balita naman [is] they are safe and sound. Ayon sa mga shipping agency, eh ginagawa lang nila ang normal duties nila. [They are] healthy and pinapakain,” said de Vega over Radyo 630.


(The good news is that they are safe and sound. According to shipping agencies, they are only doing their normal duties. They are healthy, and they are being fed.)

READ: 4 Filipino crewmen on ship seized by Iran

“At pinangakuan daw sila… well, sinabihan daw sila ng mga Iranian na may hawak sa kanila na papakawalan din sila soon, pero hindi sinabi kung kailan,” he added.

(And they were promised… well, they were told by the Iranians holding them that they would be released soon, but did not say when.)

Asked if the seafarers are getting beaten, de Vega immediately said, in Filipino: “No.”

READ: DFA: 10 of 18 Filipinos from seized oil tanker in Middle East back in PH


According to the DFA official, the seizure of MSC Aries is a “political message,” and the vessel’s crewmen who are held hostage are “not actually the target of Iranian” forces.

Western and Iranian news reports, however, said Iran targeted MSC Aries for its Israeli links.

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The Department of Migrant Workers said Sunday that they are closely in touch with the families of the seafarers and have “assured them full government support and assistance,” in line with the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

TAGS: Filipino seafarers, Iran

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