1 dead, 3 injured in fishing encounter

A CAPTAIN of a fishing vessel died while three others were injured during an encounter with a Bantay Dagat team in the waters of Panal Reef in Sagay City, Negros Occidental Tuesday afternoon.

Police identified the fatality as Vivencio Espinosa, 40, of Barangay Old Sagay.

Wounded were his younger brother Jonel Espinosa, 36, as well as Iloilo Provincial Bantay Dagat Task Force members Ryan Celiz and Jerry Espolong.

Chief Inspector Robert Mansueto, city police chief, said the Espinosa brothers went fishing in the waters of Concepcion, Iloilo, but were arrested by the Bantay Dagat for illegal fishing.

The Espinosa brothers, together with the 15 crew members on board F/V Glory were chased by the Bantay Dagat team when they tried to evade arrest.

The fishing vessel is owned by their brother Joeny Espinosa of Doña Juliana Subdivision, Bacolod City.

Two patrol boats boarded by at least six personnel of Bantay Dagat went after them until they reached the area of Sagay City at 4:30 p.m.

Mansueto said a commotion ensued when two Bantay Dagat members were able to stop the fishing vessel.

A representative from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, who was with the Task Force Bantay Dagat called for assistance.

Vivencio succumbed to stab and hack wounds while his younger brother was seriously injured and was brought to a hospital in Bacolod City.

Celiz and Espolong sustained minor injuries and were rushed to a hospital in Iloilo.

Mansueto said they were not able to establish yet who started the violence wherein those involved used a knife and a bolo.

“Investigation is ongoing to determine who started it, then the filing of charges will follow,” the police chief added.
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