Owner of Chinese vessel under fire for leaving 30 Filipinos in lurch in Australia with no plans to repatriate them.
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga (Photo: YouTube screenshot)
Published: January 12, 2023 07:55 AM GMT
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has expressed concern over the well-being of 30 seafarers from the Philippines stranded in Australia after the owner of their China-based vessel abandoned them.
The crew members of the cargo ship, Yangtze Fortune, are stranded after being allegedly abandoned by their shipping company, Soar Harmony Shipping of China, on Jan. 4.
On Jan. 11, the Philippine prelates urged the faithful to give shelter to the seafarers.
The CBCP also launched a scathing attack on the employer for leaving the sailors in a foreign land and for violating international maritime laws.
“We strongly condemn this despicable exploitation of our workers. We deplore this unjust treatment of the crew, currently stranded in Australia, whose only dream was to give their families a better life,” Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga , chairman of the CBCP’s Maritime Commission, told reporters.
According to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), Yangtze Fortune was seized in Portland, Victoria state by the Australian Federal Court.
“There have been no plans to repatriate them”
The ship, registered in Liberia, anchored near Portland in October due to court proceedings in Australia, initiated by creditors from Singapore to recover debts owed to them by the vessel owner.
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