Detained Pinoy seamen rescued in Nigeria

By Dino Maragay – Nine Filipino sailors of an oil tanker that was hijacked by militants off the coast of Nigeria were rescued by authorities, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported today.

In a statement posted in the DFA’s official website (, the news of the crewmen’s rescue came from Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Esteban Conejos Jr.

Conejos was earlier dispatched by DFA Secretary Alberto Romulo to personally check out condition and welfare of the Filipino seafarers onboard the chartered oil tanker

“Nigerian army spokesperson Colonel Rabe Abubakar said the latest operations brought the number of freed hostages to 13, including the nine Filipinos and four Nigerians,” the statement said.

The nine Filipino sailors were among the 16 Filipinos onboard the MV Spirit, which was hijacked by militants in Delta State, Nigeria, on May 13.

“Two of the nine rescued Filipino seafarers had slight injuries,” Conejos said. “A consular team was sent to the city of Warri in Delta State where the hijacking took place, and the nine rescued Filipino sailors are expected to be turned over to the embassy’s custody shortly.”

The DFA added that Conjeos and Alex Lamadrid, Charge d’Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Abuja, continue to coordinate with Nigerian authorities to facilitate the release of the remaining seven Filipino seamen.

Meanwhile, the DFA belied reports that a Filipino might have been killed during the rescue operations.

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