Police arrest suspect in killing of 8 Zamboanga fishermen

Police arrest suspect in killing of 8 Zamboanga fishermen

In this photo provided by the Philippine Coast Guard, members of the Philippine Coast Guard pick up one of the bodies of Filipino fishermen who were killed by suspected pirates on their fishing boat in waters near Zamboanga City, southern Philippines Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Several Filipino fishermen were killed after a group of suspected pirates boarded a fishing boat in southern Philippine waters and strafed the crew, officials said Tuesday. Philippine Coast Guard via AP
ZAMBOANGA CITY — Police authorities arrested one of the suspects tagged to be behind the gruesome execution of eight fishermen at sea here Tuesday.
 
The suspect identified as Midzfar Yuno Nuño, 32, a resident of Barangay Sangali east of this city was arrested, according to Chief Inspector Ramon Bautista, commander of the Police Station 2.
 
Bautista said the suspect was arrested in a joint operation with the Police Station 3 early Tuesday night at his residence at Sitio Seaside following tips from witnesses and a survivor.
 
Another man was also invited Wednesday for questioning, according to Bautista. 
 
Nuño was charged with illegal drugs and possession of an explosive.
 
“The suspect is notorious and part of the suspects extorting the fishermen in the area,” Bautista said.
 
Nuño, who was detained at Police Station 3 based at Barangay Sangali, however, denied his involvement citing he was at home and had not gone out at sea.
 
Bautista, however, said investigation disclosed that prior to the massacre of the eight fishermen off Siromon Island in the coast of Barangay Dita, the group of Nuño reportedly hijacked another fishing boat and extorted the fishermen.
 
He said there was an interval of one hour between the incident and the killing of the fishermen on the other boat.
 
The remains of the eight fishermen were recovered aboard their boat with all of their hands tied. The victims bore gunshot wounds in different parts of their bodies.
 
Bautista said that Nuño's arrest will lead to the capture of the remaining suspects.
 
He said they are still looking into extortion and revenge as the motives of the suspects after two of their companions were killed in a police operation last November following reports from fishermen about the extortion activities.
 
The police said the suspects were locally operating in the area extorting small and large fishing boats for monthly protection fee and a share of their catch.