Japan Coast Guard searching for missing ship with 39 Filipino sailors

Robie de Guzman   •   September 3, 2020   •   391

Gulf Livestock 1 vessel that went missing off southwestern Japan after departing from Napier on August 14, 2020. Photo/VesselFinder

MANILA, Philippines – The search operations of the Japanese Coast Guard for a missing livestock vessel with 43 crew members onboard is still ongoing, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

Citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka, the DFA confirmed reports that a Panamanian-flagged cargo vessel went missing off southwestern Japan.

The DFA said the Japanese Coast Guard already deployed patrol boats and airplanes to conduct the search for the missing ship.

The vessel is reportedly carrying 43 crew members, 39 of whom are Filipinos.

So far, one Filipino was reported to have been rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard.

Reports said the 11,947-ton Gulf Livestock 1 ship was carrying 5,800 cows west of the western coast of Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture when it made a distress call on September 2. The cause of the distress is still unknown but the weather and seas were rough in the area due to Typhoon Maysak.

The DFA said the Consulate General in Osaka is monitoring the situation.

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Osaka is also coordinating with local manning agency, Korphil Ship Management and Manning Corp. in ascertaining the condition of the Filipino seafarers. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

OFW accused of murder in Saudi Arabia returns home after release – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipina migrant worker who was charged with murder in Saudi Arabia has returned home following her release from prison, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement, the DFA said Rose Policarpio arrived in Manila on Tuesday after spending almost six years in jail for a crime she did not commit.

“Ms. Policarpio’s eventual acquittal is an example of the government’s commitment in protecting and promoting the rights of our OFWs. With her new lease on life, we wish her success in her future endeavors,” DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.

Policarpio, 31 years old, was deployed as a food server in Saudi Arabia in 2013. A few days after her arrival in Riyadh, she was imprisoned for murder after being accused of killing her employer.

She had consistently denied the crime and was eventually found not guilty by the lower court, the verdict of which was sustained by the court of appeals, leading to her eventual release from detention and repatriation.

The DFA said that through its Legal Assistance Fund (LAF), it provided for the services of her legal counsel. The Philippine Embassy also regularly visited her in jail and provided her with welfare assistance.

After securing her release, the DFA settled her incurred immigration penalties and secured her exit visa.

“This is a vindication of Ms. Policarpio and a clear declaration of her innocence. This is also a testament that the DFA and its people are willing to go the extra mile in order to protect and safeguard the rights of our kababayan wherever they are in the world,” Arriola said.

The DFA said Policarpio will be reunited with her family once COVID-19 health protocols are complied with.

Filipinos in Mali told to prepare for evacuation as DFA raises alert level 2

Robie de Guzman   •   September 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday advised Filipinos based in Mali to limit their movements and prepare for possible evacuation as it raised alert level 2 amid the political unrest in the country.

“Filipinos in Mali are advised to coordinate with the Philippine Embassy in Rabat, Morocco for further advisories and may contact them at +212-694202178 or via email at rabat.pe@dfa.gov.ph,” the DFA said in a statement.

The department said it raised the Alert Level 2 in Mali last Sept. 18 due to the current political and security situation in the country.

“Alert Level 2 is issued when there are threats to the life, security, and property of Filipinos arising from internal disturbances, instability, and/or external threat,” the DFA said.

Under this alert level, Filipinos are instructed to restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places, and prepare for evacuation, it added.

Political unrest ensued in Mali after it installed a transition government following a coup that forced its president to resign.

Online art exhibition launched to support Filipino artists affected by pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 16, 2020

An online art exhibition was launched by the Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt to support Filipino artists affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

A total of 31 art pieces from various artists were featured in the online exhibit. Consul General Evelyn D. Austria Garcia called on Filipino-Germans to lend their support to Filipino artists especially in these unprecedented times.

“It is vital that we recognize and protect the work of our artists both for their economic well-being and for the preservation of a part of our culture,” she said.

PH Consulate General in Frankfurt Conducts Online Art Exhibition in Support of Filipino Artists Affected by the…

Posted by Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines on Monday, September 14, 2020

The online exhibition entitled, “Envisioning Healing and Inspiration from Abroad: Overseas Filipinos Supporting Filipino Artists in Times of Pandemic,” featured the artwork of self-taught Filipino artists from Transwing Art Gallery. The online art exhibition was launched last September 11. AAC

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