THE Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday said five Filipino seafarers went missing after their Taiwanese fishing vessel caught fire off the Falkland Islands in South Atlantic Arcgipelago on Monday.
The DFA said it remains hopeful that the Filipino seamen, who were among 69 crew members of the vessel, will be found.
Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo said the Philippine Embassy in London is still trying to get more information about the incident. They are also closely coordinating with the authorities and the manning agency of the Filipino seafarers.
Meanwhile, in the recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) debate on “Transnational Organized Crime at Sea as a Threat to International Peace and Security,” Philippine Mission Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Kira Christianne D. Azucena said the Philippines has a vital interest in the security of the seas.
“My country’s strategic location in Southeast Asia and its more than 36,000 kilometers of coastline make us vulnerable to activities of international crime syndicates including piracy, drug trafficking and human trafficking. Moreover, one in every four seafarers on board an international vessel at any given time is a Filipino so it is vital that threats to maritime security are addressed,” she said.
Azucena cited several cooperative efforts that the Philippines has at the international level to promote maritime security.