POLICE subjected Tuesday to inquest proceedings before the City Prosecutor's Office two suspected pirates involved in the killing of six fishermen offshore Zamboanga City.
Senior Inspector Domingo Arguilla, commander of Police Station 1, said the two suspects were arrested last Sunday in a follow-up operation by combined police and militia forces in Sitio Duncaan, Barangay Vitali, 73 kilometers east of the city.
Arguilla identified the suspects as Muhaymin Jain and Ahiya Asari who were positively identified by the survivor, a 14-year-old boy.
Six fishermen, namely: Reymundo Macabenta, 33; Joselito Mendoza, 41; Lyngel Abne, 17; Rolito Pareño, 22; Robert Tulawie; 21; and a certain Danny were killed by four pirates around 6 p.m. Friday offshore Zamboanga City.
It was reported earlier by Arguilla that five fishermen were killed but the total number of fatalities were six based on his updated report to the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) headquarters.
Arguilla said Mendoza's son, Jeffrey, 14, who was with the victims at the time of the incident managed to escape unscathed.
The fatalities were all crew of a fishing boat M/V Queensa owned by Alex Cañete of Sangali village, and skippered by Macabenta.
Arguilla said the remains of two of the six victims were recovered Monday but beyond recognition.
The victims were fishing near the 11 group of islands when four gunmen aboard a green motorized banca arrived.
Three of the four gunmen boarded the fishing boat and asked them who is the boat's "maestro" or skipper.
The suspects, at gunpoint, ordered everyone to jump over board after learning who the maestro of M/V Queensa was.
The suspects shot Macabenta first and then shot the other crew one after the other.
Not contented, the suspects approached the victims one by one and hacked them to death.
The younger Mendoza, who was unscathed, managed to board the fishing boat and sailed towards the fishing port in Sangali. He reported the incident to the police.
Arguilla said the motive of the incident was revenge. He said pirates were out to avenge the death of their companion who was recently killed near the 11 group of islands by a certain "maestro."
Maestro refers to the skipper of a fishing boat, the reason the suspects in last Friday's incident immediately asked who the maestro of M/V Queensa is, said Arguilla.
He said he immediately coordinated with the militia forces and launched Operations Plan (Oplan) Tugis Pirata, resulting in the arrest of Jain and Asari.
Arguilla said pursuit operations continue to arrest the two other suspects who are still at large.
One of the two more suspects was identified as Muslimin Jain. (Bong Garcia)