PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said the government will try to negotiate with captors of the 17 Filipino seafarers, who were taken hostage in the Red Sea.
The chief executive disclosed this will be the main task of the high-level delegation which he will dispatch to the Middle East to help secure the release of the sailors, who were among 25 crewmen of the Galaxy Leader, a chemical tanker seized by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
“That is why we formed the delegation, which will be sent to speak with their [Filipino sailors] captors so they can go home,” Marcos said in a video message released by Malacañang on Thursday evening.
He earlier said he will dispatch a high-level delegation to Tehran, Iran, to help the affected Filipino sailors.
The President decided to cancel his trip to the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to oversee government efforts to assist the captured Filipinos.
He apologized to the Filipinos community, which he was supposed to meet in Dubai for his sudden decision to forgo his trip.
“So probably you will understand that we will prioritize this because we need to ensure the security of our citizens.” Marcos said.
The chief executive vowed to make it up to the Filipino community in Dubai in his future official trips abroad.
Image credits: Houthi Media Center via AP