Philippines studies way to reduce risk of seafarers passing through Somalia

18:01, July 08, 2010      

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The Philippine government is studying ways to reduce the risk of abduction among Filipino seafarers passing through the pirate-infested Somalian waters.

President Benigno Aquino III said in a news briefing on Wednesday that he would discuss the problem with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., after being briefed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo that 80 Filipino seafarers are still being held by pirates for ransom.

Asked what the government plans to do to address the problem, Aquino said: "I'll discuss with Executive Secretary...if there is a possibility to lessen the risk to our seafarers. Unfortunately, that is one of the most traveled sealanes."

The Philippines is the world's leading supplier of ship crew with over 350,000 sailors, or about a fifth of the world's seafarers, manning oil tankers, luxury liners, and passenger vessels worldwide, exposing them to piracy attacks.

As a policy, the Philippine government does not negotiate nor pay ransom to kidnappers, but gives ship owners the free hand in negotiating for the release of abducted Filipino sailors.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:赵晨雁)

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