Envoy seeks release of Filipino seafarers held hostage by pirates

October 28, 2011 10:45 pm 

MANILA, Oct.28 – The Philippines' new representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is seeking the release of Filipino seafarers being detained by pirates.

IMO Secretary General Efthimios Mitropoulos vowed to look into the matter when Ambassador Enrique Manalo presented his Letter of Credence to him in London on Oct. 24.

The ceremony officially marked the start of the term of Manalo as the Philippine Permanent Representative to the IMO.

"Upon the request of the Ambassador, Secretary General Mitropoulos promised to look into the early release of Filipino seafarers still detained by pirates by discussing their situation with the ship owners who are responsible for negotiating their release," the Philippine Embassy in London said.

There were more than 300,000 Filipino seafarers in the international maritime fleet.

The IMO is scheduled to convene its bi-annual Assembly from Nov. 21 to 30 in London.

The Philippines is seeking re-election to the IMO Council under Category "C," and Manalo informed Mitropoulos of the effort and determination exerted by the Philippine government towards a successful re-election.

"The two officials promised to work closely on issues of concern to both the Philippines and IMO," the embassy said.(PNA) RMA/FPV

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