19 Filipino sailors held in Mexico on alleged drug violations
MANILA, Philippines – Nineteen Filipino seafarers have been detained in Mexico for alleged violations of Mexico's law on illegal drugs, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Tuesday, July 30.
In a statement, the DFA said the 19 Filipinos, along with 3 Polish nationals, were on board the Cypriot-flagged vessel UBC Savannah when it docked and was held in the Altamira Port in Mexico on Saturday, July 27.
No details on the violations were given but the DFA said no formal charges have been filed against any seafarer. The DFA said its embassy was coordinating closely with Mexican authorities and the law firm representing the ships crew.
Following the incident, Philippine embassy representatives said they spoke to 7 of the Filipino seafarers who were currently detained for questioning.
"The group is generally in good spirits, and informed the Embassy representatives that their families have been informed of what happened," the DFA said.
The DFA gave assurances it was ready to provide "any form" of assistance, including legal assistance, to protect the Filipino seafarers’ right to be heard in court.
It stressed, however, that if the Filipinos were found to be guilty "by the proper court of the charges against them, they have to face the legal consequences of their actions."
The DFA likewise reminded the public that "the Philippine government, under the leadership of the President Rodrigo Duterte, expects all Filipinos to follow the laws of their countries of destination." – Rappler.com