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Seafarer kidnapped in Nigeria now home safe in Balamban, Cebu

Cebu, Philippines. A seafarer, who requested for immediate repatriation after being kidnapped by pirates in Nigeria, is now home safe in Pondol, Balamban, Cebu.

Magdaleno M. Sangre, Jr., in an electronic mail, extended his appreciation and gratitude to the Department of Labor and Employment especially to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA-7) for taking immediate action on his request for assistance.

According to OWWA-7 OIC Regional Director Mae D. Codilla, their office received the email from Magdaleno asking for immediate repatriation, which they formally endorsed right away to the Overseas Operations Coordination Service (OOCS) in Manila and to the office of the DFA for appropriate action.

Magdaleno was among the twelve (12) crew members of the Swiss-owned MV Glarus, who were abducted by armed pirates on 22 September 2018. He was also one of the seven (7) Filipino seafarers who were released on 28 October after captivity. MV Glarus was making its way from the Nigerian capital of Lagos to the Southeastern city of Port Harcourt when the incident happened.

In a phone interview, Mrs. Esterlita Sangre, mother, who personally came to the OWWA office, thanked once again the DOLE, OWWA and the POEA for helping them bring her son back in one piece.

She narrated how traumatic the incident was for Magdaleno. “Bata pa intawn kaayo akong anak. Kung wala pa mi tabangi ninyo, dili mi kahibaw sa among buhaton. Daghan gyud kaayong salamat,” she said.

She said that it was the third time for the 23 year-old Magdaleno to be on board overseas but it was the very first time for him to experience such a nightmare, adding that her son was able to escape after being forced to jump off the pirate’s boat after it got overloaded.

“Overloaded naman ang sakayanan sa mga pirata so mao to nga ang akong anak gi-pugos sa pagpa-ambak sa tubig. Giti-unan pa gyud siya ug armas,” she recalled.

Magdaleno would have finished his contract by next year in time for his wedding. “Sige lang ug wala siya maka-human sa iyang kontrata. Ang importante nga naka-ikyas siya ug luwas nga nakabalik namu nga iyang pamilya,” she added.

Magdaleno worked as a deck/engine trainee for Mare Management S.A. under Bright Maritime Corporation, his local agency.

In a letter dated 6 October 2018, Bright Maritime Corporation furnished the POEA copy of their letter reflecting the assistance they extended to Magdaleno by way of providing him an airline ticket in going back home.

DOLE-7 Regional Director, Atty. Johnson G. Cañete lauded the efforts extended by the OWWA, POEA, and the DFA as well as the cooperation demonstrated by Bright Maritime Corporation.

“It is innate in us Filipinos to help our kababayans. When an OFW, in particular, is in distress, we, altogether make our Bayanihan Spirit very much alive. And for government, especially the DOLE, OWWA and POEA, among others, we go beyond what our tradition and culture dictate. Hoping to come to the rescue of every Filipino worker in need of assistance, overseas or otherwise, we religiously stand by our mandate,” said Atty. Cañete.

The safe release of Magdaleno, he said further, is a laudable indicator of how working together and giving premium to every issue lodged before each concerned office could yield favorable results.




For more information on this report, you may contact Luchel Senarlo-Taniza, Regional Labor Information Officer at telefax number (032) 266-2792 or you may send an email at

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