Marcos assures support for families of Pinoys who died after Chinese boat capsized

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 26) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday said the government is ready to extend aid to the families of five Filipino seafarers who died after a Chinese fishing vessel capsized in the Indian Ocean.

Marcos made the assurance two days after authorities confirmed the deaths of the Filipinos who were among the 39 crew members of Lupeng Yuanyu 028, which sank over a week ago. [LINK: 39 dead, including 5 Pinoys, after Chinese boat capsized in Indian Ocean]

“Nakikiramay tayo sa mga pamilya ng mga kababayan nating nasawi sa tumaob na fishing vessel sa Indian Ocean noong ika-16 ng Mayo,” Marcos said in a statement.

“Nakaantabay ang ating pamahalaan para sila'y alalayan,” he added.

[Translation: We condole with the families of our fellow countrymen who died after a fishing vessel capsized in the Indian Ocean last May 16. The government is ready to assist them.]

The president also thanked Australia and China for sending rescue teams to conduct extensive operations “in spite of the unforgiving weather.”

In a statement, the Chinese embassy in Manila also expressed its condolences over the death of the five Filipinos, adding it is closely communicating with the government on the matter.

“We will provide full support to the concerned agency regarding the proper handling of the incident's aftermath,” the embassy spokesperson said.

Beijing added it is grateful for countries such as Australia, India, and Sri Lanka for sending vessels and aircraft to help in the multinational maritime search and rescue operations.

Despite finding no survivors yet, the embassy said search and rescue operations continue.

According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, the crew was composed of 17 Chinese nationals, 17 Indonesians and five Filipinos.

It was not immediately clear how many bodies were retrieved. Reports as of Wednesday said rescuers found seven bodies, but their nationalities were not specified.