President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. vowed to exhaust all remedies available to send home safely the 17 Filipino seafarers who were held hostage by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.
In a short video message late Thursday, President Marcos extended his apologies to the Filipino community in the United Arab Emirates after he opted to cancel his trip to Dubai to personally address important developments in the case of the 17 Filipino seafarers.
“Alam naman ninyo may mga bagay na kailangan agad na asikasuhin. Isa na dun ‘yung ating mga kababayan, mga kapwa Pilipino natin na na-hostage, 17 sila na na-hostage at ginagawa natin lahat ng paraan upang sila ay maiuwi na,” President Marcos said.
“Kaya’t binubuo natin ang isang delegasyon para pumunta sa kanila at makipag-usap dun sa mga may hawak sa kanila para makauwi na sila. Kaya’t, siguro naman maunawaan ninyo, na inuna muna natin ‘yan dahil kailangan nating tiyakin ang syempre ang seguridad ng ating mga kababayan,” he added.
President Marcos posted on his official X (formerly Twitter) account that he will no longer attend the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai to personally attend to the case of the 17 seafarers.
The President said he hopes that the Filipino community in Dubai will understand his decision as he emphasized the government is also attending to the case of the Filipino nationals affected by the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
The chief executive said there are already Filipinos affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict who have already safely arrived in the Philippines through the help of various government agencies.
“Kaya’t patuloy naman ang aming ginagawa upang ang ating mga kababayan ay maging maganda naman ang kanilang sitwasyon at sa lalong madaling panahon ay sana makauwi na sila,” Marcos said.
Amid all these developments, President Marcos said he is saddened by his decision to cancel his trip to Dubai and the supposed meeting with the Filipino community, but he assured to meet them in his future official trips. | PND