Marcos cancels Dubai trip for COP28 to address hostage situation of 17 Filipino seafarers

Marcos cancels Dubai trip for COP28 to address hostage situation of 17 Filipino seafarers

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. opted not to proceed with his attendance at the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or COP28  in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

This decision was made to personally address what he described as “important developments” in the hostage situation involving 17 Filipino seafarers.

The President confirmed this in a post on his official social media account.

“In light of significant developments in the hostage situation involving 17 Filipino seafarers in the Red Sea, I have decided not to attend COP28 in Dubai tomorrow,” according to Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

President Marcos also mentioned in his post that he will convene or has convened a meeting to expedite the dispatch of a high-level delegation to Tehran, Iran, to provide necessary assistance to the mariners.

He also entrusted Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga to lead the COP28 delegation.

Meanwhile, in an interview at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos stated that they were all prepared for the trip to Dubai.

However, according to BBM’s statement, the executive chief canceled his trip to Dubai due to this incident.

Abalos did not provide additional details, particularly about the condition of the seafarers held hostage.

On the other hand, the Secretary provided some information about the Philippines’ participation in COP28.

Prior to this, President Marcos assured the Filipino people that the government is doing everything to ensure the safety of the 17 Filipino seafarers held hostage by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

To recall, Houthi rebels seized control of the cargo vessel Galaxy Leader and abducted its 25 crew members, including 17 Filipinos, in retaliation for Israel’s offensive in Gaza, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

It is noted that the Bahamas-flagged, British-owned Galaxy Leader, associated with Israeli businessman Abraham “Rami” Ungar, is managed by a Japanese firm.


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