MANILA, Philippines – A bulk carrier with 21 Filipino seafarers on board was hijacked by Somali pirates in waters off Yemen, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported Friday.
In a text message to ABS-CBNnews.com, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez said the Pinoys were crew members of MV Free Goddess, a Greek-owned and Liberian-flagged vessel.
“According to AFP's liaison officer to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) based in Manama, Bahrain, the 21 Filipino crew of bulk carrier, MV Free Goddess, a Greek-owned, Liberian-flagged ship, were kidnapped on 9 February by Somali pirates off the western coast of the Socotra Islands, Yemen,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez added that the DFA has instructed its foreign posts in Bahrain to coordinate with the CMF and those in Greece and Kenya, to “keep track of the negotiations with the pirates”.
The DFA said a total of 47 Filipinos on board 4 vessels are now being held captive by Somali pirates.