A Filipino seaman of a Marshall-flagged chemical tanker was shot on board the vessel by a pirate in Nigeria, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Wednesday.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said the Filipino, whose identity he declined to disclose, was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
The vessel Pyxis Delta, hijacked on February 4 off the coast of Nigeria, had eight other Filipino crew members.
They are all safe on board the ship which is anchored off the coast of Nigeria.
‚ÄúThe family of the fatality has already been informed of this sad development,‚Äù Hernandez told a press briefing.
Hernandez said repatriation of the sailor‚Äôs remains and survivors to Manila is being readied.
The DFA spokesman said they are still determining the exact details of the incident.
‚ÄúThis information is still preliminary and we are hoping to get more information from the manning agency today or tomorrow,‚Äù he said.
The DFA assured the government is working continuously with ship owners and operators to secure the freedom of the Filipinos
The global shipping industry, which carries 80 percent of international trade, employs about 1.2 million seafarers, the bulk of whom come from the Philippines.
At least 23 Filipino seafarers remain in the hands of ransom-seeking pirates in Somalia.
Piracy and ransom kidnappings of Filipino sailors have long been a problem for the Philippine government as it lacks the capacity to monitor their movements when at sea.
Somali authorities are likewise powerless over these groups since there is no existing central government in the African state.
Since the UN withdrew in Somalia in March 1995 without restoring a functioning government, little progress has been made.
As a policy, the Philippine government does not negotiate nor pay ransom to kidnappers, but gives ship owners the free hand in negotiating for the release of abducted Filipino sailors.
– Michaela del Callar/VVP/RSJ, GMA News