Ex-professional cager denies involvement in illegal fishing

·3 min read

FORMER Philippine Basketball Association player Kendrick Allen “Jojo” Lim has denied reports that he is involved in illegal fishing in northern Cebu.

This, after one of his fishing crew, Rolex Casebo, was killed in a shooting incident involving Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) officers in the waters off Barangay Logon, Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan on Friday night, March 26, 2021.

Lim, in an interview with Superbalita Cebu, narrated his fishing crew’s ordeal.

He said his fishing business is not illegal, as it is complete with paperwork from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Maritime Industry Authority and the PCG.

Lim said he only owns one fishing vessel.

He admitted that his fishermen’s only violation was that they encroached on the boundary of Daanbantayan’s municipal waters.

He said his fishermen used a small-eyed net to catch tiny fish called bulinaw. The net, he said, only reaches five feet below the surface of the sea.

Lim said his fishermen hastily cut the net and sailed away because they were afraid when they heard gunshots from two men (later identified as Seaman 1st Class Jayson Hermoso de Padua, 32, and Seaman 2nd Class Christian Amorade) who allegedly did not use any light and megaphone to announce they were from the PCG.

The businessman denied the PCG personnel’s claim that they were bumped by the fishermen’s boat. The PCG officers were on board their jet skis.

After hearing the gunshots, the helmsman of Lim’s fishing boat could not properly pilot the sea vessel as he kept on ducking, afraid of getting hit.

As a result, the fishing boat zigzagged. But there was no intention to hit the jet skis, said Lim.

Lim said he has proof the PCG personnel fired at the fishing crew because the boat has at least six gunshot holes.

The PCG 7 has promised to investigate its personnel.

Casebo will be buried on Tuesday, March 30.

De Padua and Amorade will face criminal charges over Casebo’s death.

Coast guard version

De Padua and Amorade offered a different narrative to the police.

Casebo was gunned down after he was suspected of illegal fishing off Logon, a claim by De Padua that the police are still verifying.

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.

They reportedly called the attention of the fishermen, but to no avail.

One of the PCG officers, who was carrying a gun, discharged his firearm as a warning.

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. / GPL / KAL