Hanoi (VNA) – Navy boats and air force helicopters of the Philippines have foiled a seajacking attempt on a cargo vessel in Sulusea off the southern province of Zamboanga del Norte, the Philippine military reportedon April 19.
On April 18, the cargo vessel with 21 crew members, which was in waters off Sioconen route from Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte to Zamboangacity, made a SOS call and reported that three motorisedboatscarrying armed men seemed to be attacking them and attempting to board their vessel.
The Western Mindanao Command said they immediately directed all naval ships patrolling the area to proceed to the last reported location, while two air force helicopters were also deployed to fly over the reported area.
The motorboats promptly left the area upon sensing the arrival of the navy ships and helicopters.
ThePhilippine naval forces are ready to render necessary assistance to deter seajacking and abduction at seas, said Rear Adm. Rene V. Medina, commander of the Western Mindanao Naval Forces.
On Feb. 22, 2017, Philippine naval ships foiled an attempt to seajack a vessel by suspected Abu Sayyaf group in Tawi-Tawi. The Islamic rebel group, whichwas formed in the 1990s with about 400 gunmen operating in southern Philippines currently, has been well-known for kidnapping, bombing and execution of hostages.
Philippines President Rodrigo Dutertedirected the army to hunt for Abu Sayyaf gunners and announced that he has no plan for a peace deal with the group.-VNA