Campaign against illegal fishing turns violent

A FISHERMAN was seriously wounded after he allegedly tried to escape after his boat was apprehended for illegal fishing off the coast of EB Magalona early Wednesday morning, July 8, 2020.

Police identified the wounded as 43-year-old Bonifacio Diamante, a resident of Barangay 6A in Victorias City.

EB Magalona town police chief, Police Captain Wilfredo Benoman, Jr., said at around 4 a.m. the local police and personnel of the town's Bantay Dagat conducted a patrol in the town's territorial waters against illegal fishing.

At around 5:50 a.m., Benoman said he received a call reporting that police personnel apprehended an unidentified fishing vessel, and were able to hold the vessel captain into custody.

However, several crewmen of the apprehended vessel tried to escape, and a chase transpired at sea.

Benoman said the escaping fishermen allegedly opened fire, prompting the cops to return fire. However, instead of aiming at the escaping fishermen, the police aimed below the escaping vessel's water line in order to avoid hitting the occupants.

The chase later stopped after the escaping boat reached the territorial waters of Victorias City.

A few hours later, Benoman said their station received a call that one of the crews, which was later identified as Diamante, was confined at the Ikaayong Lawas Hospital in Victorias City with a wound on his eye.

Diamante was later transferred to the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital for treatment.

Police are presently conducting an investigation over the incident.


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