DFA: Libyan high court acquits seven Filipino seafarers of economic sabotage

(Eagle News) — Seven Filipino seafarers who were accused of attempting to smuggle six million liters of fuel in Libya have been acquitted.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Arthur Soria Taleno, master; Fulgencio Pederito Eulogio, first officer; Claro Camintay Allera, second officer; Abraham Senara Naduma Jr., third officer; Ronnie Lumales Moniya, chief engineer; Gil Dellupac Cruzada, second engineer; and Aldwin Salang-oy Emperada, third engineer;  of the M/T L:evante were ordered released by the Libyan High Court after being detained since Aug. 26, 2017.

The seven, who were among 20 Filipinos who were taken into custody by the Libyan Coast Guard who boarded and seized the Liberian-flagged tanker while in international waters, had been sentenced to four years in prison for economic sabotage by a lower court in November last year.

Libyan authorities released 13 crew members in February last year.

According to Charge d’Affaires Mardomel Celo Melicor, the embassy received a copy of the order of the High Court on Sunday.

“The embassy is now coordinating the repatriation of the seven seafarers with Libyan authorities,” the DFA said.

In a Tweet, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. thanked the Libyan government.

“Yes, the justice system works in Libya. Hope to pay a visit soon,” he said.