DFA awaiting report on 7 Filipino seafarers kidnapped in Nigeria

By Philippine News Agency

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said on Monday that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is awaiting an official report on the seven Filipinos reportedly kidnapped off the coast of Nigeria on Saturday.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano (AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN) Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano
(AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)

Cayetano neither confirmed nor denied the news but said the Philippine embassy in Nigeria already informed him about the incident.

“I’m waiting for the eksaktong kung anong sinabi. May sinabi na yung post but I told them give me the exact, then i-memo kay Presidente bago i-announce (I’m waiting for an official report. The foreign service post already informed us but I told them to get the complete details then send a memo to the President before announcing anything),” he told reporters in a press briefing.

Cayetano said the government will exert all efforts to ensure the safety of the Filipinos.

“We’re doing all the efforts but just like in Libya. Please excuse us ng konti if less news ang nilalabas namin kasi kapag kidnapping napaka-maselan (a little bit if we are releasing less news because if it’s about kidnapping, that’s very sensitive),” he noted.

A total of 12 seafarers aboard a Swiss merchant vessel were abducted by pirates off the coast of the African state, seven of whom were reportedly from the Philippines.

Citing the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, an international news agency reported that the victims are still missing.