LOCSIN WILL NOT ASK OTHER COUNTRIES TO JOIN SEARCH FOR MISSING SEAFARERS OFF JAPAN
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin, Jr. on Friday rejected calls for the Philippine government to seek expanded search and rescue operations for the 36 Filipino seafarers who went missing off the coast of Japan early this month.
In his post on Twitter, Locsin said: “The Japanese government and ambassador and I are on this and Japan did not cease its search that Saturday but had, in fact, continued it against protocol,”
He was responding to Senator Risa Hontiveros’ letter urging the Department of Foreign Affairs to ask Japan to continue and bolster the search.
Locsin said he cannot interfere with the affairs of the Japanese government.
“I refuse to ask other Asian powers to join in the search because that is an attack on the sovereignty of Japan,” he said.
Forty-three crew members were onboard the Panamanian-flagged cargo vessel Gulf Livestock 1 when it capsized off Japan on Sept. 2, launching rescue operations.
They are composed of 39 Filipinos, two New Zealanders, and two Australians.
Only three Filipinos have been found to date. One of them died with his remains flown home on Thursday.