GMA News Online
Pinoy Abroad

11 Filipino crew of hijacked MV Titan back in RP

May 12, 2009 8:44am
Vessels with Pinoy crew members that are still being held by Somali pirates

WinFar 161
Hijacked last April 6 with 17 Filipinos.

Malaspina Castle
Hijacked April 6 with 4 Filipinos.

MV Irene
Hijacked April 15 with 22 Filipinos.

MV Patriot
Hijacked April 25 with 15 Filipinos.

MANILA, Philippines – Eleven freed Filipino crew of the hijacked M/V Titan quietly arrived in Manila Sunday evening, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The DFA website (www.dfa.gov.ph) said the seafarers arrived at 10:10 p.m. Sunday via flight KA913, with DFA and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) personnel welcoming them.

It said the families of the seafarers requested that there be no media coverage on the arrival to preserve their privacy.

"Since the start of the month, there are 52 Filipino seafarers who have arrived in the Philippines after their vessels were captured and freed by pirates off the coast of Somalia," the DFA said.

The DFA noted the first to arrive last May 2 were the crew of MV Saldanha and Philippine-flagged MT Stolt Strength.

With the successive release of the MV Saldanha, MT Stolt Strength and lately the MT Nipayia and their crews, the total number of Filipinos still being held by Somali pirates is now down to 58 on board four vessels.

The cargo vessel MV Saldanha with its 19 Filipino crew and chemical tanker MT Stolt Strength with its 23 al-Filipino crew returned to the Philippines on Saturday.

The Greek-owned chemical tanker MT Nipayia, together with its Russian captain and 18 Filipino crew, were released May 9, an Associated Press report on Monday quoted the ship's manager in Athens - Lotus Shipping Co Ltd. - as saying.

The four remaining vessels with Filipinos on board that are still being held by pirates in Somalia are the WinFar 161, hijacked last April 6 with 17 Filipinos; Malaspina Castle, hijacked April 6 with 4 Filipinos; MV Irene, hijacked April 15 with 22 Filipinos; and the MV Patriot, seized April 25 with 15 Filipinos.

According to the DFA report, the Philippine government, together with the manning agencies and shipping companies of the captured vessels, continue to work for the safe release and repatriation of the Filipino seafarers. - GMANews.TV