(UPDATE) 91 Pinoy seafarers still held by pirates--DFA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 10 2008 02:46 PM | Updated as of Dec 12 2008 03:40 AM

Less than a hundred Filipino seafarers remain in the hands of Somali pirates, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Wednesday.

According to DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban Conejos Jr., there are 91 Filipino seafarers on board six ships still with Somali pirates.

The number decreased following the release of a Greek-owned, Bahamas-flagged bulker last December 8, 2008.

Shipping principals of MC Captain Stefanos confirmed the release of the bulker with its 19-man crew, including 17 Filipino seafarers.

“All crewmembers are reported to be in good health,” Conejos said in a text message to abs-cbnNEWS.com.

Conejos said the vessel was hijacked by Somali pirates last September 21 in the Gulf of Aden.

He said the vessel is now on its way to Italy and will sail from there to Greece.

“DFA is coordinating with shipowners on the repatriation of Filipino seamen,” he added.

DFA spokesperson Claro Cristobal identified the released Filipino seafarers as Master Rodel Arbis of Cavite, C/O Audy Oarrilla of Davao City, 2/O Miguel Sanchez of Manila, 2/O Reynaldo dela Cruz of Quezon City, C/E Leonardo Berjame of Mandaue City, 2/E Faustino Adalia of San Pablo City, 3/E Jeffrey Bolodo of Bohol, BSN Cesar Dela Cuadra of Iloilo, AB Ronnie Cabanting of Abra, AB Geovanne Sipalay of Bulacan, AB Emmanuel Torres of San Pablo City, OS James Bryan Fabie of Koronadal City, OS Nicolas Bation of Zambo Sur, OLR Rodrigo Parac of Leyte, E/CDT Prudencio Asuncion Jr, CK Alfredo Paculdar Jr. and MSM Richard Garcia of Cavite.