Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos, vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People and bishop-promoter of the Stella Maris Philippines, has cited the heroic response of the Filipino seafarers who rescued the refugees drifting in the Mediterranean Sea.
“We are thankful and appreciative of the serving and saving deeds of all the Filipino crew of MV Fleur who rescued 86 Egyptian refugees drifting in the Mediterranean seas along Livorno. With their heroic action, we have, once again, shown to the whole world the true character of the Filipinos, that is, helpful, hardworking, and dependable in times of need and distress,” Santos said over Radio Veritas.
A post by Mykel Angelo Genilo, one of the Filipino crew members of MV Fleur, that went viral on social media showed the Filipino seafarers helping in the rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea on June 7. Genilo said they received information from the Augusta Italian Coastal Navy that their vessel will pass by a distressed ship on its way to Italy.
Genilo said they did not think twice in helping the affected passengers of the distressed ship which was carrying 86 refugees from Egypt on their way to Italy to look for livelihood opportunities. Unfortunately, their vessel encountered engine problems that left them drifting in the Mediterranean Sea for days.
“We should be proud of the heroic response of the Filipino seafarers. Your kind gestures make our country proud. Our seafarers are our modern-day heroes. They serve us and they save lives whoever and wherever they are,” Santos said.
The bishop assured the seafarers of the continued prayers and support of the Stella Maris Philippines for the safety and wellbeing of every Filipino seafarer.