By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

M/V True Confidence (Photo courtesy of the US Central Command)

MANILA – Foreign missions in the Philippines on Friday extended their condolences to the country and the families of the two Filipino seafarers killed by a Houthi missile strike in the Gulf of Aden on March 6.

French Ambassador Marie Fontanel said France “strongly condemns the lethal attack” by the Houthis on the commercial vessel True Confidence.

“My sincere condolences to the Philippines for the tragic loss of 2 Filipino seafarers,” she said in a post on X. “Houthi attacks on international maritime traffic reached a new level. They must cease.”

The Japanese Embassy in Manila also stood in solidarity with the country, saying Tokyo is committed to working with the Philippines in advocating a peaceful resolution to conflicts, as well as lasting peace and stability across the world.

“Our sincere condolences to the families of the two Filipino seafarers lost to a tragic missile attack. Deep respect for their commitment abroad. Japan is steadfast in partnering with Philippines to foster lasting peace and stability worldwide,” Japan Ambassador-designate to the Philippines Kazuya Endo said.

Canadian Ambassador David Hartman and German Ambassador Andreas Michael Pfaffernoschke also sent their thoughts to the victims’ kin in separate posts on X.

“Germany expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the victims. With the Philippines and all partners, we aim to achieve a peaceful and enduring solution to this conflict,” Pfaffernoschke said.

The US Central Command reported on Thursday that the Barbados-flagged bulk carrier M/V True Confidence was hit by a Houthi-launched anti-ship ballistic missile at approximately 11:30 a.m. (Sanaa time) on March 6 while transiting the Gulf of Aden.

On the same day, the Philippine government confirmed that two Filipino seafarers died while three were seriously injured.

True Confidence was carrying 20 crewmembers, including 15 Filipinos, when the missile struck it.

A total of three were killed, making the missile launch the first fatal strike by the Houthis since it began attacking commercial ships in response to the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo Jose de Vega earlier said the 13 surviving Filipinos and other crewmembers were rescued by the Indian Navy and were brought to Djibouti. (PNA)