KIAMBA, Sarangani (September 17, 2010) – Governor Migs Dominguez has ordered the formation of a joint seaborne defense force against “ambak pare” or jump buddy, frightening words cried out by pirates before seizing boat engines in the high seas.
The governor called a meeting Thursday (September 16) with the Philippine Coast Guard, police provincial director Florendo Quidilla, and fisherfolk in the MAKIMA (Maasim-Kiamba-Maitum) area. The fisherfolk said they were defenseless against sea pirates while seeking livelihood at sea.
Four fishermen from Lomuyon, Kiamba went missing Tuesday last week. Their boat was found drifting in the high seas off Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat the following day with “blood stains and pieces of body tissues all over scattered at the fishing boat deck.”
“I have tasked deputy governor Aniceto Lopez, Jr. to organize seaborne defense force to fight these pirates terrorizing our fishermen,” Governor Dominguez said. “Our fishermen agreed not to be cowed but will fight back in case being attacked.”
The defense force will be composed of volunteer fishermen as well as members of the Philippine Army and other civilian volunteers.
“They will accompany boats as well as be permitted to bring firearms,” Dominguez said.
“We will purchase and equip the Coast Guard station with communications equipment, CB and SSB (Citizens' Band and Single-Side Band radio). We will set up a distress channel that can be used as a quick response to reports that will be passed to the army and navy units,” the governor added.
Organization and training of the seaborne defense force will begin on Monday next week.
Hundreds of fishermen in the MAKIMA called the attention of Governor Dominguez after the four fishermen from Lomuyon went missing.
According to a police report submitted by Kiamba municipal police station, Pederico Velarmino and Norberto Pareja, crew of fishing boat “Lito Boy” were reported missing by their families.
Police investigation disclosed that pump boat owner Lito Macalipay said sometime in the morning of September 4, his fishing boat boarded by the victims cannot be contacted over radio.
Police said the fishing boat was sighted drifting at the high seas off Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat the following day with “blood stains and pieces of body tissues all over scattered at the fishing boat deck.”
Two other crew members of the fishing boat, Joseph Pelaez and Rogelio Galon, were also missing.
Engines of the three other smaller boats locally known as “pakura” and belongings were also missing.
“The motive of the perpetrators is sea jacking by carting away pump boat engines. Nonetheless, suspects are considered to be members of organized crime group because of their capability in terms of logistics and determination to kill fishing boat crews,” the police report said. (Russtum G. Pelima/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)