ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/4 January) – The remains of eight fishermen, who were among the nine people earlier reported missing, were retrieved Friday from the sea off this city, a police official said Saturday.
Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca, Police Regional Office-9 information officer, said that policemen recovered their remains at around 5:35 p.m. Friday in between the waters of Sacol Island and Barangay Manicahan, following information that a banca (boat) with dead people aboard was seen drifting at the sea.
Quoting a report from the Police Station 3, Huesca identified the cadavers as that of Mursid Ambasali, Jimmy Sannayani, Benjie Sannayani, Piyad Sannayani, Palaji Sannayani, Jeffrey Sannayani, Palari Buyong and Maastal Jaolani.
Huesca said they were among the group of 11 Bajao fishermen from Sitio Seaside, Barangay Sangali, this city, who were killed by pirates while fishing on Christmas Day off the shores of Talusan, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Earlier investigations showed that the victims were fishing aboard three motorized bancas in the municipal waters of Talusan when six gunmen on three motorized bancas arrived.
The gunmen herded the victims in one banca and shot them with rifles.
Two of the 11 victims, Muksin Ambasali and Loloy Ambasali, pretended to be dead after the shooting. They clung on to a styrofoam to stay afloat and were later rescued and brought to the hospital by other fishermen.
The cadaver of one of their companions was recovered floating last December 31 near the shore of Barangay Bolong, this city.
Dr. Rodel Agbulos, city health officer, said his personnel provided assistance in burying the victims’ remains that were already in the advanced state of decomposition. (MindaNews)