Between 2006 and 2011, a total of 769 sailors from the Philippines were seized by pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. It is believed that all but the 26 were released unharmed and upon payment by their principals of ransom.
Earlier this month, the DFA said the government had come up with a plan to protect Filipino sailors from Somali pirates.
Excellent news and it is good to see another country getting on board with the concept of ‘armed guards on boats’. As you can see with that quote up top, it is definitely of national interest that something be done.
Although it would be nice to see them fire up the Letter of Marque as a legal tool to manage these armed guards on boats. Either way, this is a great move and I am sure Filipino boat owners will have no problem in finding PSC’s that can do this work, either in the Philippines or elsewhere. -Matt
PH to allow private security guards on ships as anti-piracy measure
By Jerry E. Esplanada
January 30th, 2012
The Philippines has given Manila-flagged merchant vessels the go-ahead to deploy private security groups to minimize the risk Filipino seafarers face from Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The move, however, is “subject to Philippine shipping companies” adherence to strict guidelines promulgated by the Maritime Industry Authority and the International Maritime Organization,” the DFA said Monday.
“In their participation at meetings to combat piracy in the IMO, the United Nations and other fora, Philippine government officials have been advocating the importance of promoting the safety of Filipino seamen. This advocacy is being supported by other governments,” it also said.