The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -The eight Filipino seamen who survived a Somali pirate attack off the southern coast of India last March 26 are back home, happy for a second life but sad that two of their companions died during a rescue staged by the Iranian navy.
The sailors arrived Wednesday afternoon at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 on Malaysian Airlines flight MH 804 via Kuala Lumpur.
Airport and assistance and counselling services were extended to the eight Filipino crew, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said.
OWWA identified the survivors as Napoleon Asis Flores, Reynante Abo-abo Lumaad, Diosdado Jancinal III, Vicente Bucash Jr., Rolando Abare Jr., Ronel Esclares, Noel Sanchez and Rowell Tabag.
OWWA Administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon said the Filipino seafarers were onboard MV Eglantine when they were attacked by Somali pirates. in the said area. The vessel had 23 crewmembers of different nationalities, including the 10 Filipinos. Unfortunately, two of the Filipinos died at the height of the rescue operation staged by the Iranian Navy on April 2.
Zhron Monzon, of Mauban, Quezon, was hit by a bullet in the head by the retreating Somali pirates. The other Filipino casualty, Stephen Barbarona, died due to suffocation from the heavy smoke from the engine room of the vessel where he hid. Both were 33 years old.
Dimzon said the deceased seafarers were OWWA members. Their legal dependents will receive P220,000.00 each representing death and burial benefits.
In addition, the families of the two seafarers can also avail themselves of the OWWA’s Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP). Qualified dependents of departed OFWs may avail of a scholarship program of OWWA.