Bishop Ruperto Santos of the Diocese of Balanga has appealed for compassion for 30 Filipino seafarers reportedly abandoned by their Chinese vessel employer aboard the livestock carrier Yangtze Fortune.
“We deplore this unjust treatment of the vulnerable crews, currently stranded in Australia whose only dream is to give their families a better life,” the Bataan bishop said.
“On behalf of Stella Maris Philippines, we express our support for them,” Santos added.
Santos is also Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ promoter of Stella Maris Philippines.
“This despicable exploitation must be stopped and we pray that our seafarers may be given immediate assistance and every effort be made to protect their rights,” he said.
“We are also hopeful for their fair remuneration, not only the unpaid wages for their services rendered but also for the sacrifices they endured,” the bishop said.
“We, Stella Maris-Philippines, pray and offer our Holy Masses for their safety, sound health, and their peaceful voyage back home,” Santos added.