Home 9 Filipino crew members from seized tanker returns to PH

9 Filipino crew members from seized tanker returns to PH

9 Filipino crew from seized tanker returns to ph

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Nine Filipino crew members of an oil tanker seized by Iran’s navy in the Gulf of Oman arrived in the Philippines on Sunday.

Lord Rangasajo, one of the crew members who arrived, said they positively interacted with the Iranians. “Maganda naman po ang pakikiharap ng mga Iranian sa amin. Wala naman po kaming naging problema,” he said. 

He also mentioned that they were not harassed, “Mga eight commandos, they boarded us with the heavy guns, but okay naman sila.” 

The Department of Foreign Affairs revealed that two more are expected to return this week.

Yung dalawang aalis pa, Tuesday or Wednesday aalis sila, (two more will depart on Tuesday or Wednesday),” DFA Usec. Eduardo de Vega stated.

The remaining six are awaiting replacements before returning to the Philippines. 

“Hindi naman sila hostage per se, kasi kusang loob silang naiwan doon dahil binigyan ng double salary, kaya out of their own free will sila na naiwan doon, (They are not hostages per se because they willingly stayed there due to the double salary offered, so they chose to remain voluntarily.) he said. 

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) assured that they are ready to provide psychiatric counseling to arriving seafarers, financial assistance, accommodation, and airfare if they need to return to their provinces. 

“We will first discuss with them if they decide to settle in the Philippines, and then we will provide reintegration support,” said OWWA Deputy Administrator Atty. Honey Quiño said.

The Filipino crew members were under Iran’s custody following the Iranian Navy’s seizure of the oil tanker St. Nikolas in the Gulf of Oman in January.

Iran’s action was a retaliatory response to the confiscation of Iranian crude oil from the same vessel by US forces in 2023.


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