(Eagle News) — President Bongbong Marcos said the government was exhausting all remedies to free the 17 Filipino seafarers held hostage by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
The chief executive made the comment as he extended his apologies to the Filipino community in the United Arab Emirates after he opted to cancel his trip to Dubai to address what the Palace said were important developments in the seafarers’ case.
Earlier, the President said he would also no longer attend the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) for the same reason.
“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 said.
He emphasized the government was also attending to the case of Filipino nationals affected by the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Some Filipinos affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict have already safely arrived in the Philippines through the help of the various government agencies, he said.
“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,” he added.
The Houthis are allies Iran and have expressed solidarity with Hamas militants fighting in the Gaza Strip.