Voices Raised

A number of Filipino maritime groups have joined together to condemn piracy, prompted by the growing number of Filipino seafarers being held hostage.

The officers and representatives of five national organizations belonging to the Joint Manning Group (JMG) and the Associated Marine Officers and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP-PTGWO-ITF) expressed their deep concern after learning that a Filipino crewmember of the hijacked cargo vessel M/V Beluga Nomination was killed while members of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) were attempting to rescue the hostages from the Somali pirates.

The pirates in retaliation shot and killed the Filipino crewmember identified as Farolito Vallega while two others, also both Filipinos, managed to escape. Two other crew members, a European and a Filipino, were also reportedly missing after the incident and are now the subject of search-and-rescue (SAR) operations. “We denounce this attack and killing with indignation and encourage others to do so if only to inform the global maritime community and the Filipino people that this atrocity is outrageous. We are one with the government in rightfully condemning the pirates’ lawless behavior and their senseless disregard for human life,” the group said

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