The Philippines is committed to pursuing all available avenues to secure the safe return of the 17 Filipino seafarers currently held hostage by Houthi rebels in Yemen.
President Marcos conveyed this commitment in a video message released on Thursday night, November 30, as he explained the cancellation of his planned trip to Dubai due to the developments surrounding the 17 Filipino seafarers taken hostage by Houthi rebels in Yemen.
“Alam naman ninyo may mga bagay na kailangan agad na asikasuhin. Isa na dun yung ating mga kababayan, mga kapwa Pilipino natin na na-hostage, 17 sila na na-hostage at ginagawa natin lahat ng paraan upang sila ay maiuwi na (You must know that there are things we need to attend to. One of them is the Filipinos being held hostage, there are 17 of them and we are doing everything we can to bring them home),” Marcos said.
The President announced that a delegation is currently being assembled to engage in negotiations to secure the release of the Filipino hostages and facilitate their return home.
Marcos vows to do everything to rescue 17 Filipino hostages
“Kaya’t binubuo natin ang isang delegasyon para pumunta sa kanila at makipag-usap dun sa mga may hawak sa kanila para makauwi na sila. Kaya’t, siguro naman maunawaan ninyo, na inuna muna natin ‘yan dahil kailangan nating tiyakin ang syempre ang seguridad ng ating mga kababayan (So, we are forming a delegation to go there and negotiate to those who are holding them hostage and bring them home. So I hope you understand that because we need to ensure their safety and security),” he added.
DFA confirmed on November 23 that Houthi rebels in the Red Sea took 17 Filipino seafarers on the cargo vessel Galaxy Leader hostage. As of November 30, the DFA assured that the hostages are in good condition and will be released in due course.
“Government sources say that the hostages are in good condition, and will eventually be released. Efforts are ongoing for this to happen as soon as possible,” the DFA said.
An hour before his scheduled flight to Dubai on Thursday morning, President Marcos announced that he would no longer attend the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai. Instead, he will personally attend to the case of the 17 seafarers taken hostage by Houthi rebels in Yemen.