Ship Royal 16 (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine authorities have exhumed a cadaver that was supposed to be the body of Pham Minh Tuan, captain of ship Royal 16 who was kidnapped in the Philippines on November 11, 2016.

The exhumation was made at the request of the Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines.

The remains are scheduled to be transported to Manila on December 11 for preservation and DNA testing.

Vietnam’s relevant agencies will closely coordinate with the Philippines during the process of verification, the embassy said.

If the remains are confirmed to be Tuan’s, the embassy will promptly complete relevant procedures to bring him home.

Royal 16, with 19 crewmembers aboard, was carrying cement from Vietnam’s northeastern province of Quang Ninh to the Philippines when it was attacked by pirates.

The pirates kept six crew members, including the captain, as hostages and released the remainders.

Meanwhile, the Philippines authorities said Royal 16 was attacked by an armed group while sailing 20km off Basilan island, a bastion of the Abu Sayyaf rebel group.

Two crewmembers, including a wounded person, escaped and were rescued by another boat. The armed group ran away together with the hostages.-VNA