CG to probe fatal shooting involving 1 of its personnel

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THE Philippine Coast Guard (CG) District Central Visayas said it will conduct its own investigation on the shooting incident between its personnel and a group of fishermen in Daanbantayan, Cebu that resulted in the death of one fisherman off the coast of Barangay Logon, Malapascua Island on Friday night, March 26, 2021.

CG Station Central Cebu acting commander Alvin Dagalea said they will try to establish what really transpired during the incident and to check the veracity of initial reports.

“Ato gyod ato is that it was a legitimate operation. It is a joint operation between the Coast Guard and the Bantay Dagat (of Daanbantayan),” Dagalea said.

“The Municipality had received reports of illegal fishing and that was the action the local government took against it,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Fisherman Rolex Casebo, a resident of Sitio Sta. Cruz, Barangay Antipolo, Medellin, died after he was gunned down by the CG personnel.

Seaman 1st Class Jayson Hermoso de Padua, 32, who served as the CG’s detachment commander in Logon, and Seaman 2nd Class Christian Amorade, 30, surrendered to local police after the incident. They are now detained.

Asked what will happen to the two personnel, Dagalea refused to answer pending the result of the internal investigation.

Sought for comment, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 7 Director Alan Poquita said as of now they will leave the matter to police authorities.

“(We will) wait for an official report for us to take action,” he told SunStar Cebu in a text message.

Based on initial reports, de Padua told police that Casebo was gunned down after he was suspected of illegal fishing in Barangay Logon.

The police, however, are still verifying this in their investigation.

Daanbantayan police said based on De Padua and Amorade’s accounts, the two were conducting a patrol off the coast of Logon on board their jet skis. While they were patrolling, they saw a bright light coming from two pump boats carrying fishermen who were allegedly conducting illegal fishing in the area.

The two CG personnel reportedly called the attention of the group of fishermen, but to no avail.

As a warning, one of the CG personnel, who was carrying a gun, discharged his firearm.

The two fishing boats reportedly hastily fled the area, leaving behind fishing nets.

De Padua and Amorade said they thought their job was done, but when they patrolled again, they saw the same group conducting illegal fishing in another area and that the pump boats attempted to ram their jet skis.

Sensing their lives were in danger, one of them fired warning shots, not realizing that Casebo had been hit.

Kendrick Allen Lim, operator of the two fishing boats, in an earlier interview, denied that his men were illegal fishers.

Casebo’s family also expressed intention to file charges against the two CG officers.

Police said they will have Casebo’s body autopsied. (WBS)