Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 15:15 GMT

Philippines: Information on Filipino media reports about the Maersk Dubai and on the Filipino crew members of the Maersk Dubai who deserted in Halifax in May 1996 and returned to the Philippines

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 March 1997
Citation / Document Symbol PHL26030.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Philippines: Information on Filipino media reports about the Maersk Dubai and on the Filipino crew members of the Maersk Dubai who deserted in Halifax in May 1996 and returned to the Philippines, 1 March 1997, PHL26030.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aabfc8.html [accessed 31 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

Information on the Filipino crew members of the Maersk Dubai who deserted in Halifax in May 1996 and returned to the Philippines could not be found among the sources consulted by the DIRB.

Please consult the following information on Filipino media reports about the Maersk Dubai story.

The following information was provided during a 12 February 1997 telephone interview with the assistant editor of the Philippines Daily Inquirer, a newspaper published in Manila.

The source stated that news of the Maersk Dubai story was published in Filipino newspapers for a short period of time. The source added that the seamen would be welcomed as heroes in the Philippines because they had behaved honourably by testifying against their Taiwanese officers.

The following information was provided during a 6 February 1997 telephone interview with the editor-in-chief of the Manila Chronicle, a Filipino newspaper based in Manila.

The source stated that media coverage of the Maersk Dubai story was positive and that most people believed the seamen did their duty by reporting the crimes of their Taiwanese officers.

The following information was provided during a 10 February 1997 telephone interview with a professor of political science at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, Philippines. The source is also the president of the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies, a private think-tank. In 1994 the professor was the director of the Asian studies program at the University of Toronto, and has published a number of academic articles on the Philippines.

The source stated that the Maersk Dubai story was not covered extensively in the Filipino media. The source added that the seamen would be welcomed as heroes in the Philippines because they were ready to testify against their Taiwanese officers. These seamen would be well-treated by the Filipino population. 

The following information was provided during a 10 February 1997 telephone interview with the acting director of the Apostleship of the Sea-Philippines, an organization that provides assistance to Filipino seamen. The Apostleship of the Sea-Philippines is part of the Episcopal Commission for the Care of Migrants and Itinerant People of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines, and is part of a worldwide network of 185 centres for seafarers. The organization provides legal assistance to seafarers through an agreement with a law office in the Philippines. The organization has handled several cases involving abuse of Filipino seamen.

The source stated that the Maersk Dubai story did not receive extensive media coverage in the Philippines, not even in Maritime News, which is a newsletter that covers maritime issues. The source added that an article originating from the Globe and Mail of Canada was reproduced by Parola, a newsletter published in Rotterdam by the Filipino Seamen's Assistance Program and distributed in the Philippines by the Apostelship of the Sea-Philippines.

General information on the Maersk Dubai story is available in the attached documents.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

Acting director, Apostleship of the Sea-Philippines, Manila. 10 February 1997. Telephone interview.

Assistant editor, Philippines Daily Inquirer, Manila. 12 February 1997. Telephone interview.

Editor-in-chief, Manila Chronicle, Philippines. 6 February 1997. Telephone interview.

Professor of political science, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines. 10 February 1997. Telephone interview.

Attachments

The Associated Press (AP). 11 September 1996. "AP Photo HAL101." (NEXIS)

Calgary Herald. 10 October 1996. Final Edition. Graeme Hamilton. "Stowaway Kissed Sailor's Boots for Mercy." (NEXIS)

_____. 5 September 1996. Final Edition. Graeme Hamilton. "Stowaway Testifies Sailor Saved His Life." (NEXIS)

_____. 4 September 1996. Final Edition. Steve MacLeod. "Witness Silent on Stowaways: Filipino Sailor Cites Death Threats Against Family." (NEXIS)

Central News Agency (CNA). 11 January 1997. S.C. Chang. "Taiwanese-Canadian Group Demands Apology from Maersk Prosecutor." [Internet]  [Accessed 14 Jan. 1997]

_____. 10 January 1997. S.C. Chang. "Taiwan Finally Gets Turn in Canadian Court." [Internet]  [Accessed 14 Jan. 1997]

_____. 9 January 1997. S.C. Chang. "Taiwan 'Insulted' by Canadian Prosecutor's Denial of Statehood." [Internet]  [Accessed 14 Jan. 1997]

_____. 9 January 1997. Chang Shen-chao. "Romania Outside Jurisdiction: Expert." [Internet]   [Accessed 14 Jan. 1997]

The Gazette [Montreal]. 4 September 1996. Graeme Hamilton. Final Edition. "My Family's Threatened, Witness Says: Refuses to Testify About Abandoned Stowaways." (NEXIS)

The Globe and Mail [Toronto]. 9 January 1997. Kevin Cox. "Taiwanese Flare Up at Comments: Lawyer at Sailors' Extradition Hearing Challenges Country's Status." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 24 October 1996. Kevin Cox. "Captain Ignored Pleas, Sailor Says: Bosun Testifies that Crew Members Wanted Romanian Stowaways to Have Flotation Vests." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 9 October 1996. "Nova Scotia: Filipino Seamen Agree to Testify." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 9 October 1996. Kevin Cox. "Stowaways Forced Off at Knife-Point, Crewman Says: Filipino Seaman Watched Helplessly as Taiwanese Officers of the Maersk Dubai Sent Romanians into Cold North Atlantic, Hearing Told." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 27 September 1996. Kevin Cox. "Sailor Recanted Stowaway Story, Police Say: Hearing Told that Filipino Implicated Himself at First in Allegations Romanians Thrown Overboard." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 13 September 1996. Kevin Cox. "Silent Witnesses Confuse Crown: Sailor Doesn't Know What Happens Next." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 12 September 1996. Kevin Cox. "Silent Filipino Crewmen Cited for Contempt in N.S.: Sailors in Case of Romanian Stowaways Say They Fear for Families." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 11 September 1996. Kevin Cox. "Stowaways Pleaded with Captain, Sailor Says: Crewman Testifies Officer Push Romanian Off Ship." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 6 September 1996. Steve MacLeod. "Stowaway-Death Witnesses Reluctant to Testify at Hearing: Filipino Sailors Want Canada to Protect Threatened Families." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 5 September 1996. Kevin Cox. "Stowaway's Life was in Danger, Trial Hears: Romanian Who Hid Aboard Maersk Dubai Told That if Found, Sailors Would Cut his Throat."

_____. 4 September 1996. Kevin Cox. "Witness Balks in Stowaway Case: Filipino Sailor Tells Hearing for Accused Officers That his Family has been Threatened." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 24 June 1996. Kevin Cox. "Halifax: Taiwanese Murder Suspects Wait, Worry." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 22 June 1996. Kevin Cox. "Crew Accused of Murder Released on Bail in N.S." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 21 June 1996. Kevin Cox. "Stowaways Begged for Lives, Court Told: Filipino, Taiwanese Crew Members Give Conflicting Accounts of how Romanians Left Ship." (InfoGlobe)

_____. 6 June 1996. Kevin Cox. "Captain's Wife Issues Tearful Plea in Halifax Court: Relatives of Officers in Stowaway Drama Want Romanian Extradition Bid Rejected." (InfoGlobe)

Maclean's [Toronto]. 16 September 1996. Merle MacIsaac. "Canada: Reluctant Witnesses," p. 21.

_____. 1 July 1996. "Bail Granted," p. 23.

_____. 17 June 1996. John DeMont. "Canada: Were Three Stowaways Thrown Overboard?", p. 16.

_____. 10 June 1996. "Death on the High Seas," p. 23.

The Toronto Sun. 19 September 1996. Final Edition. Dick Smyth. "Peril on the Deep." (NEXIS)

The United Press International (UPI). 11 September 1996. BC Cycle. "Filipino Seamen Refuse to Testify." (NEXIS)

_____. 3 September 1996. BC Cycle. "Court Halts Taiwanese Sailors' Hearing." (NEXIS)

_____. 27 May 1996. BC Cycle. Leslie J. Furlong. "Captain Accused of Ditching Stowaways." (NEXIS)

Databases Consulted

Carleton University

        ABI/Inform Databases. 1990-1996.

Global Business Information. 1990-1996.

Canadian Periodical Index. 1990-1996.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). 1990-1994.

Public Administration Information System (PAIS). 1990-1996.

Readex United Nations: Document and Publication Index of the UN.

World News Index.

Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) Resource Centre

        Asia-Pacific Database.

University of Ottawa

        Orbis Database.

East Asian Miracle Database.

Expanded Academic Index: Index to Periodical Articles in English Geography.

Index to UN Documents.

Wilson Business Abstracts.

World Population Projection 1994-1995: Population Structure.

World Population Vital Statistics 1994-1995.

Ottawa Public Library

        Gateway Database.

Access to National Library of Canada

OPL Database.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Databases

        Business Index International.

Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA).

Government Documents.

Les Affaires.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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