Mangingisda o Maute? 23 Mindanao fishermen held in Negros

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At least 23 fishermen from Mindanao were held at Sipalay City in Negros Occidental and in Bayawan in Negros Oriental, amid tightened security against the Maute group.

This was after the Philippine Coast Guard arrested a sister of the Maute brothers on board a ship, along with two suspected terrorists, at the Iloilo port on Sunday.

Negros Island Region police director Chief Superintendent Edmund Gonzales also stressed the continuing engagement between the PNP and the community against threats.

In Sipalay City, police acting on a tip held four crewmembers of a fishing boat at the Dagat-Dagatan area of Barangay 2 poblacion.

Sipalay City police head Chief Inspector Romeo Vargas said the four came from Barangay Culinog in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.

He identified them as Dante Alabata, Vicente Sumalpong, Joeve Tadi-in and Joerel Calunod, all Christians from Dapitan City.

The four told police they were forced to dock in the coastal area, as they had ran out of fuel after leaving Dapitan City June 17. They said they were heading for Pinamalayan in Mindoro Oriental via Basay City.

In Bayawan City, the Philippine Coast Guard held 19 fishermen after finding their fishing vessel had no required documents.

The F/B Hermen fishing vessel owned by Councilor Herbal Abapo of Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte, docked on Sunday at the Boulevard area of Brgy. Villareal, Bayawan City.

Investigation showed the vessel left Sindangan Port June 17 and encountered strong winds, before being intercepted by local fishermen.