Fourteen Filipino seafarers who were freed following the release of two Malaysian vessels by Somali pirates are scheduled to arrive in Manila Saturday, the foreign affairs department announced Friday.
In a text message sent to abs-cbnNEWS.com, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Claro Cristobal said the 14 Filipino seafarers are set to arrive at 2:20 p.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 via Malaysian airlines MH 704.
The freed hostages were identified as Romulo Buhayang, Ariel Obja-an, Rodolfo Buinanao Jr., Benito Adecer, Macarion Pacione III, Ronan Maranan, Rading Maguan, Leo Andrew Sitjar and Eleanor Madriga of Bunga Melati 2; and Eduardo Lasprillas, Aldrin Palomo, Manuel America Jr., Rhageb Salabao and Ulyseise Maguslong, of Bunga Melati 5.
Cristobal said the remains of Jayson Dumagat, of Bunga Melati 2, who died reportedly due to a stray bullet when pirates boarded the ship will also be flown back home on the same flight.
Last Tuesday, the DFA confirmed the release of Bunga Melati 2 after it was seized by Somali pirates last August 19. Nine Filipino seafarers were on board when pirates hijacked the vessel.
Meanwhile, the DFA on Monday received confirmation on the release of Bunga Melati 5 from Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Victoriano Lecaros.
News agency Agence France-Presse earlier reported that Bunga Melati 2 was carrying palm oil when it was seized by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden while Bunga Melati 5 was hijacked last August off the coast of Yemen. It was carrying 30,000 metric tons of petrochemicals.