Marcos opts out of Dubai COP28 trip | Inquirer News
Official reason: Red Sea hostage situation

Marcos opts out of Dubai COP28 trip

/ 05:34 AM December 01, 2023

A few hours before his supposed departure with other Filipino delegates, President Marcos on Thursday canceled his attendance at the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai, to personally address “important developments” in the hostage situation involving 17 Filipino seafarers.

“In light of important developments in the hostage situation involving 17 Filipino seafarers in the Red Sea, I have made the decision not to attend COP28 in Dubai tomorrow (Friday),” the President said on his official X (formerly Twitter) account.

“Today, I will be convening a meeting to facilitate the dispatch of a high-level delegation to Tehran, Iran, with the aim of providing necessary assistance to our seafarers,” Mr. Marcos added.


At Villamor Air Base in Pasay City where the President was supposed to speak before his departure, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. also confirmed the cancellation but declined to give details about the seamen’s situation.


“Anything that will be involving our seafarers is very important to our President,” he told reporters. “All I can say at this point in time is the seafarers’ situation is really important. It’s a very sensitive issue as of now.”

Abalos and other delegates later proceeded to Dubai via a commercial flight.

Mr. Marcos earlier assured the Filipino people that the government is doing all it can to ensure the safety of the 17 Filipino seafarers taken hostage by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Good condition

Yemeni rebels seized the cargo vessel Galaxy Leader and took hostage its 25 crew members, including 17 Filipinos, in retaliation for Israel’s offensive in Gaza, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

In a separate statement, the DFA assured the 17 Filipino seafarers are “in good condition”.

“Government sources say that the hostages are in good condition, and will eventually be released. Efforts are ongoing for this to happen as soon as possible,” the DFA added.


“The DFA had properly coordinated with foreign governments who may or can help us with respect to the safe rescue and repatriation of our seafarers. The situation is delicate,” Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) officer in charge Hans Leo Cacdac said in an earlier interview.

Fulfill commitment

Mr. Marcos also said he has designated Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga to lead the COP28 delegation and articulate the country’s statement on his behalf.

Loyzaga, as the official representative of the President, said in a separate statement she will seek to boost the call to developed countries to fulfill their commitments to developing countries in climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building.

She added the country’s international exposure would “open opportunities for access to financial and technical support that we need as a country vulnerable to climate change.” —Jerome Aning, Tina G. Santos, and Jane Bautista

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

READ: Marcos skips COP 28 meet to work on Filipino hostages’ release in Red Sea

TAGS: cop, Dubai, Hostage, Marcos, Red Sea

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.