Philippine Ambassador to Spain Carlos Salinas made an initial report to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that MT Mattheos I, with 14 Filipino seafarers on board, was released from
captivity today and is proceeding to a neutral port.
In the same report, all crew members are well and safe.
MT Mattheos I, a Cyprus-flagged and Norwegian-managed tanker, was seized on September 14, in Lome, Togo in West Africa. The vessel has a total of 23 seafarers of mixed nationalities onboard.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario has alerted and instructed concerned Philippine Embassies to provide appropriate assistance and to make arrangements for the immediate repatriation of
the Filipino seafarers to Manila.
The Philippine government has undertaken measures to minimize the exposure of Filipino seafarers to piracy attacks, including making arrangements with ship principals and manning agencies for vessels to
travel along a safety corridor and to adopt best management practices as a deterrence to piracy attacks.
It has likewise taken up the issue of maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Aden and in the Indian Ocean before the United Nations and other international organizations. The Philippines is a member of the intergovernmental Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
(Photo credit: eaglespeak.us)