Armed men execute 8 fishers off Zamboanga City
A Philippine Navy Multi-purpose Attack Craft on patrol. File photo
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Pirates executed eight fishermen whose fishing boat they intercepted in seas east of Zamboanga City.
Police and coastguard here said the attack occurred about 8 p.m. in the off Laud Siromon, Barangay Dita.
Police Chief Inspector Helen Galvez, spokesperson of Zamboanga City Police Office, said the victims – there were 15 and seven managed to escape — came from Sibugtoc island on a fishing boat when they were intercepted by five unknown attackers.
Nomar Sakandal and Kervin Banahan, two of the seven survivors, told police at Station 3 in Barangay Sangali that the suspects were aboard two ‘jungkong’ speedboats.
The survivors said some of them quickly jumped overboard and swam away.
“We managed to jump overboard and swam away but some of our companions were killed,” the two survivors told police authorities.
The Philippine Coast Guard station in Zamboanga City said five other survivors managed to swim ashore on Siromon Island.
Police said the bodies of those who were killed have been recovered. They all bore gunshot wounds and some of them were hogtied when they were executed aboard the fishing boat.
Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar condemned the incident and ordered the police and coast guard to find the people responsible.
Police suspect that the attackers are part of a group that has preyed and exacted extortion money from local fishermen in the past.
The coast guard and navy immediately sent units to patrol the area and track down the attackers.