Friday, August 7, 2009

Navy officer appointed to anti-piracy task force

4 Manila Bulletin Tuesday, July 14, 2009


A Philippine Navy officer has been appointed by the government to act as liaison to the multinational task force conducting maritime security and anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. The appointment of a naval liaison was an initiative of Vice President and presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers Noli de Castro as the Philippines' contribution to international efforts to stem piracy. However, the identity of the officer has yet to be disclosed until his actual deployment in Manama, Bahrain where he will work with the Anti-Piracy Task Force under the United States 7th Fleet. De Castro cited the "urgency" in assigning a Filipino naval attaché in the Anti-Piracy Task Force to help monitor the condition of Filipino seamen held hostage by the pirates and immediately coordinate assistance to the seafarers. He said the assignment of a naval attache also aims to establish a command that will provide guidance and safety instructions to vessels with Filipino crewmembers, passing the danger zone of the Gulf of Aden. De Castro also said efforts to secure the safe and early release of 44 Filipino seamen held hostage in Somalia are ongoing. "We are aware that negotiations continue and that all 44 Filipinos are unharmed. We continue to hope and pray for a positive outcome," De Castro said

As a policy, the Philippine government does not negotiate directly with pirates. However, the government coordinates closely with concerned foreign authorities and local manning agencies of the hijacked vessels to secure the early and safe release of Filipino seafarers. Until the security situation has stabilized, the Department of Foreign Affairs has recommended the imposition of a ban on the deployment of Filipino seafarers in the Gulf of Aden and surrounding areas.


No comments:

Post a Comment