Malaysian bandits possibly behind kidnapping of 10 fishermen off Sabah

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 21, 2019   •   1694

Malaysian bandits might possibly be behind the kidnapping of 10 fishermen off Sabah on Tuesday (June 18) according to Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Western Mindanao Command spokesman and civil military chief Col. Gerry Besana said they are looking at a Malaysian lawless group as the ones behind the kidnapping.

“Kidnappings have been occurring in that area of Malaysia and we are looking at a certain Mameh, a Malaysian lawless group, as the perpetrators,” he said.

On Wednesday, Department of Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters that the kidnapped fishermen might be Malaysians.

“I think these are Malaysians. They were travelling between their boats…we have directed our troops to be very vigilant while they are coming back to the Philippines,” he said.

A Kuala Lumpur-based newspaper said the kidnapped fishermen are Bajau Laut or sea gypsies.

“Unfortunately, kidnapping incidents are taking place in the Sabah side and what’s worst is that [the abductors] are bringing the victims to Jolo so that is why we are the last touch,” Lorenzana said.

Fishermen rescued in sea waters off Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 15, 2020

Five fishermen were rescued on Monday (September 14) by navy troops in the sea waters off San Mateo Point, Sinunuc, Zamboanga City.

The navy troops, onboard BA492, noticed four fishermen standing on a boat that capsized due to bad weather.

After rescuing the four, the troops were informed that the boat master was still inside the capsized boat.

The boat master was recovered and rushed to the Zamboanga City Medical Center. He was declared dead on arrival due to Asphyxiation secondary to accidental drowning.

“We provided the necessary assistance to the victims of the sea mishap and communicated with their respective families,” said Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan, Commander, Naval Forces Western Mindanao.

The Philippine Navy extends their sympathy to the family of the boat master identified as 55-year-old Enricky Brocka. The Navy also assured they will provide assistance to victims of the accident. -AAC

AFP confers medals to soldiers hurt in Jolo blasts

Robie de Guzman   •   August 27, 2020

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) has conferred medals on soldiers who were injured on Monday’s twin explosions in Jolo, Sulu.

AFP Westmincom chief Major General Corleto Vinluan Jr. led the conferment of medals Tuesday afternoon when he visited the soldiers being treated at the Camp Teodulfo Bautista Hospital and Camp Navarro General Hospital.

Among the medal recipients were Sergeant Jose Alonzo, Corporals Philip Anthony Aleta and Aldrin Paj-Dio, PFC Novin Guzman, PFC Jayson Paguirigan, Private Stephen Rey Oliveros, Private Alphasier Tapsi and Private Alviner Hamsaji.

More than 20 soldiers sustained injuries during the successive explosions that killed 14 people and wounded 75 others.

“On behalf of the men and women of the Western Mindanao Command, I would like to extend my deep sympathies to the bereaved families of the victims who succumbed to the mindless acts of terrorism,” Vinluan said.

“Let us continue to pray for the eternal repose of the souls of those who were killed and for the speedy recovery of those who are recuperating in hospitals,” he added.

The town of Jolo is no longer under lockdown following the blasts but tight security measures remain in place, the military said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

Duterte admin to pursue friendly bilateral relations with Malaysia despite Sabah dispute

Marje Pelayo   •   July 31, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Duterte administration will pursue the country’s friendly bilateral relations with Malaysia.

This was the response of Malacañang after Malaysia announced its intention to summon the Philippine’s ambassador in Malaysia over the controversial remarks of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin.

On July 27, Locsin posted in his tweet that “Sabah is not in Malaysia” in reaction to a post by the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hisshammudin Hussein countered Locsin saying his comment was ‘irresponsible’, whereafter he summoned the Philippine ambassador.

Locsin stressed that he is asserting the Philippines’ rights over Sabah just as the country is defending and asserting the rights of the Filipinos in the West Philippine Sea.

Locsin replied that he will also summon the Malaysian ambassador in Manila on the matter.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque meanwhile said that despite the unresolved territorial dispute on Sabah, the country will maintain friendly bilateral relations with its Southeast Asian neighbor.

READ: DFA denies giving up claim on Sabah

“This unresolved territorial dispute, as you correctly said has been dormant […] It has not affected our friendly bilateral relations and we will definitely maintain this friendly bilateral relations despite and in spite of this unresolved dispute,” he said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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