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(UPDATE) 9 Filipino crew members stage mutiny on ship
By Cynthia Balana
Inquirer, Agence France-Presse
Last updated 05:50am (Mla time) 11/06/2007
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MANILA, Philippines -- Nine Filipino crew members of a Taiwanese fishing vessel Monday staged a “mutiny,” taking over their ship while it was sailing off the African nation of Mauritius in the southwest Indian Ocean, to protest alleged maltreatment by their Taiwanese captain.
Vice President Noli de Castro, presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net) in an interview that he was able to speak with the crew’s leader, Roderick Sumang, who said they were maltreated by their captain, Jui Yin Huang.
“Eh masama daw ang ugali ng kapitan at halos hindi na sila pinapakain. Medyo hindi pa daw sila sumusuweldo isang buwan na kaya kinomandir nila ang vessel. Parang mutiny (They said the captain was cruel and hardly fed them. They had not been paid for more than a month so they comandeered the vessel),” De Castro said.
He said the incident was “unfortunate” and advised the crew members not to harm the captain or anyone else on board.
“Sabi nila eh hindi naman daw nila tinali iyong kapitan. Nakaupo lang daw at pinapakain nila. Kakampi din daw nila iyong iba pang Vietnamese crew na nandoon (They said they did not tie up the captain. He was sitting and they were giving him food. They said the Vietnamese crew members were on their side),” De Castro said.
Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenya chapter of the Seafarers' Assistance Program, said: "The sailors took control of the fishing vessel, UAICSIXA, from the captain late on Sunday."
"The sailors complained that they were being mistreated by their Chinese captain. We have made contacts with the Filipino embassy and they will send somebody to Mauritius," he told Agence France-Presse.
"Reports we have is that the captain is okay, even though he is not in control of the vessel."
Mwangura appealed to French freighters in the Indian Ocean to track the vessel, which is currently sailing to Mauritius.
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