Four Filipino crewmen missing off Sulu: military spokesman
Four crew members of a Filipino fishing boat were reported missing after their vessel was found off the waters of Sulu early Tuesday, a military spokesman said.
Major Filemon Tan, Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said Wednesday missing are Noel Besconde, the boat captain; Reyjim Rocabo, the mechanic; and crewmen Roy Ramos and Roel Liones, all residents of Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur.
Tan said, based on initial report, the crew of fishing boat Ramona 2, a service-type vessel owned by Ramona Fishing Corp., were declared missing after its sister ship Melissa 2 were not able to contact the vessel after its last communication at 3 am Wednesday.
“FB Melissa 2 proceeded to the location of her sister ship at around 5am and found all crew members missing. The very high frequency (VHF) radio / global positioning system (GPS) was stolen while other belongings are intact,” he said.
Tan said Joint Task Force Sulu sent forces to search for the missing crewmen while “ Naval Task Group Sulu was instructed to initiate appropriate action.”
Joint Task Forces Tawi-Tawi and Basilan were alerted to conduct patrols and possibly intercept the perpetrators, Tan said.
Intelligence units are currently validating the incident, Tan added.
If the Abu Sayyaf is behind the incident, this will bring the number of their hostages to 27, of which nine are Filipinos. Robina Asido/DMS