Headquarters, Western Mindanao Command, Camp Navarro, Zamboanga City — Philippine Navy boats and Airforce helicopters that were immediately deployed in the seas of Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte were able to foil a seajacking attempt to a cargo vessel at around 8 in the morning (April 18).
The cargo vessel identified as MV Anabelle with 21 crew members that was plying the sea waters off Siocon from Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte en route to Zamboanga City gave a distress call and reported that three motorized boats with undetermined number of armed men onboard were seemingly attacking them and attempting to board their vessel.
The Western Mindanao Command, thru the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, immediately directed all naval ships patrolling the area to proceed to the last reported location of MV Anabelle, while two (2) Philippine Air Force helicopters were also deployed to fly over the reported area.
The Captain of said cargo vessel said that the pursuing motorized boats immediately left the area upon sensing the arrival of the navy ships and the helicopters.
MV Anabelle was then escorted by Navy Patrol Craft 395 to Zamboanga City while continuously being monitored by the Littoral Monitoring Station Pilas until it was able to dock safely.
“Our naval assets are all ready to render necessary assistance to deter seajacking and abduction at seas,” says Rear Adm. Rene V. Medina, Commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao.
On Feb. 22, 2017, navy ships were also able to foil an attempt to seajack MV Dong Hae Star by suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Tawi-Tawi. The bandits immediately aborted their plan upon sensing the arrival of the naval ships and air assets.
“The moment we receive calls for help, WestMinCom will be fast on our tracks to foil any attempts of terrorism or piracy,” said Lieutenant General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“Our sailors plying these waters should be vigilant all the time since these threats will be trying to seajack vessels and conduct atrocities. It is only when all of us will do our share of fighting this common enemy that we will surely defeat and disallow the bandits to continue sowing fear and terror in our seas and our communities,” the WestMinCom Chief added.