4 Filipino fishermen disappear in Celebes Sea, feared abducted
PAGADIAN CITY – Four Filipino fishermen were reported missing off Celebes Sea near Tawi-Tawi province in the Sulu Archipelago, security officials said Wednesday.
The four - Noel Besconde, the ship’s captain; his mechanic Reyjim Rocabo, and crewmen Roy Ramos and Roel Liones - are working for the Ramona Fishing Corporation based in Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur province.
They were declared missing Tuesday by the company after their fishing boat FB Ramona 2 was found empty. The boat’s radio communication set and global positioning system were also stolen, according to the company in a report it submitted to the authorities.
The company immediately dispatched another fishing boat, FB Melissa 2, to locate the crewmen, but failed to find them. They were feared abducted.
The military’s Western Mindanao Command said it alerted security forces in Tawi-Tawi and also in Basilan and Sulu provinces about the incident.
“The Joint Task Force Sulu already deployed forces to conduct search and the Naval Task Group Sulu was instructed to initiate appropriate action. Meanwhile, the Joint Task Forces Tawi-Tawi and Basilan were also alerted to conduct patrols,” said army spokesman Major Filemon Tan.
It was unknown whether the Abu Sayyaf or pirates who are actively operating in Tawi-Tawi were behind the disappearance of the fishermen, who are all natives of Tukuran town in Zamboanga del Sur. (Mindanao Examiner)