Coast Guard: Patrols reduce piracy at sea

A HIGH ranking officer of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Southeastern Mindanao on Wednesday said there was no recorded sea robbery in the past two months after they increased their patrols along the Sarangani Straight in Davao Occidental.

This was relayed by PCG commander for Southeastern Mindanao Joselito Dela Cruz after were five reported sea robberies that had happened from October until January 5.

"Wala naman tayong nare-record na sea robbery so far," Dela Cruz told Sun.Star Davao in a text message on Thursday afternoon.

It can be recalled that the five recorded sea robberies in the four months period was allegedly perpetrated by local pirates who have victimized five sea vessels including M/V Cecilia-V, M/V SF Mariner, F/V Daniel Dave, M/V Range Rover and F/V RRCS-18.

Dela Cruz, in a previous interview, already said they have already identified the culprits, particularly the barterers who have been considered as persons of interest.

The barterers are from Barangay Kamalian in Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental.

Dela Cruz said he had coordinated with their PCG counterparts assigned near the area to investigate the matter.

"Actually, nakausap nang station commander ko assigned sa Sarangani strait yung group ng mga barterers last month. Nagcooperate naman sila," Dela Cruz said.

These barterers have been robbing sea vessels passing through the Sarangani Strait for goods including sacks of rice, containers of diesel oil.

But there was no personnel of any of the sea vessels who were hurt or killed by the barterers during their raids.

Dela Cruz said there have not received any report since the talk with the barterers was initiated by his ground commander. (KRP)

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