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PH embassy brings home 2 seamen from their Dubai-United Arab Emirates-owned ship MV Blue Nile

PH embassy brings home 2 seamen
Sara Susanne D. Fabunan April 30, 2018

THE Philippine Embassy in Tehran brought home Monday two Filipino seamen stranded in Iran, after they were offloaded from their Dubai-United Arab Emirates-owned ship.

Jerry Gabanzo and Miguel Estrella Jr., the crew members of the MV Blue Nile, were not given due salaries and other benefits from the ship owner based in Dubai and UAE, the DFA said.

In addition, the Philippine Embassy informed the seamen’s manning agencies in Manila about their situation in Iran and brought to the latter’s attention their complaint of unpaid salaries and other benefits from the ship owner based in Dubai, UAE.

“The Philippine Embassy in Tehran learned about their plight only on April 16 when the wife of one of the seamen sent an urgent email narrating their situation in Chabahar, a town in southern Iran located more than 1,800 kilometers from Tehran,” the DFA stated.

After learning their unfortunate fate, the Philippine Embassy made immediate representations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran and its regional office in Chabahar as well as with the immigration offices in both cities to obtain custody over the Filipino seamen.

On April 23, an Embassy team flew to Chabahar and brought the ship crew to Tehran the following day.

“Because of the Philippine Embassy’s constant and personal follow-ups at the Immigration Office in Tehran and the Iranian government’s continued support and assistance on the case, the processing of the two seamen’s exit clearances and other documentary requirements took only one day to complete,” the DFA noted.

The two Filipino seamen stayed overnight at the Embassy until they departed Iran for the Philippines early morning on April 26.

Consul General Alfredo M. Borlongan accompanied them on their return flight to Manila.