President Marcos has opted to cancel his planned visit to Dubai for the World Climate Action Summit (COP28) due to unfolding events related to the 17 Filipino seafarers who were abducted in the Red Sea.
He conveyed the decision to cancel his trip to Dubai just an hour before his planned departure on Thursday, November 30. He announced on social media that he would dispatch a delegation to Iran to provide assistance to the 17 Filipino seafarers who were abducted in the Red Sea.
“In light of important developments in the hostage situation involving 17 Filipino seafarers in the Red Sea, I have made the decision not to attend COP28 in Dubai tomorrow,” he wrote in his X (formerly Twitter) account.
“Today, I will be convening a meeting to facilitate the dispatch of a high-level delegation to Tehran, Iran, with the aim of providing necessary assistance to our seafarers,” he added.
Marcos has designated Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ma. Antonio Yulo-Loyzaga to lead the COP28 delegation and represent the Philippines at the summit in his absence.
President Marcos cancels Dubai visit amid hostage crisis in Red Sea
He reiterated last week that the government is actively working to secure the safety of the 17 Filipino seafarers who were abducted by Houthi rebels in Yemen.
“Our seafarers are not alone. The government is doing everything in our power to bring them safely home,” he said.
“The safety of our 17 Filipino seafarers is of utmost concern. DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) is coordinating with its counterparts in Iran, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia for updates,” he added.
The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is actively engaged in consistent communication with the families of the hostages. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) disclosed that Yemeni rebels seized the cargo vessel Galaxy Leader, holding its 25 crew members hostage in response to Israel’s actions in Gaza.
The DMW affirmed its commitment to providing support and assistance to the families of the affected seafarers during this challenging time.
The United States has strongly advocated for the prompt release of the ship and its crew. Additionally, the U.S. is contemplating designating Houthi rebels as a terrorist organization in light of the recent incident in the Red Sea.