14 April 2009

GMANews: After swift rescue of US captain, fate of 98 Filseamen remains in limbo

Link to Article

"The International Maritime Bureau said there were 260 crewmembers on 14 hijacked ships being held off the coast of Somalia as of Tuesday. Six of these hijacked vessels have a total of 98 Filipino seafarers involved."

“The entire incident is sensationalized because an American was held hostage," Ramirez told GMANews.TV in an interview. “[But] when the number of Filipinos abducted by pirates swelled to 100, there was no reaction."

*I completely agree. Ships manned by international crews (the majority of which are Filipino) keep commerce alive in this global economy in the transporting of goods, many of which can be vital to national/business interests, including American. When these attacks occur, the media barely noticed, even when American interests were at stake. When an American crew is hijacked, piracy is suddenly brought to the forefront (cue dramatic music intro and the CNN Somali Pirates graphic). It was a serious situation, and I commend the first officer from the Alabama for explaining to reporters that this issue is currently active even though they have been saved. The Alabama was not an isolated incident- it is a global crisis.

Talking to people this weekend and explaining that the Alabama was just one small piece of the piracy puzzle and that over 200 other seafarers were held hostage, people were shocked. Many did not believe me. It is sad to know that some people only believe it is news if it can be condensed to a 3 minute segment on Andersoon Cooper 360 (no disrespect to AC360). Hate it to break it to people, but all the important news going on in this global economy cannot be fully explained in a single 1 or 2 hour news broadcast, regardless of news agency/reporter.

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