One of the four survivors, Joel Dignos, told the Inquirer that they left Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, on April 25. He said the shooting happened on May 4 pas midnight.
According to Dignos, they were sailing on the seas off Pangutaran town, Sulu, when men aboard two small bancas began shooting their fishing boat from both sides.
He woke up and realized they were being attacked. One of the fishermen called out to turn off the generator so the boat’s lights would go out—this way, the shooters would not see them.
Crispin Mahuyod Sr., the fishing boat’s captain, stood to turn the generator off, but he was eventually gunned down, Dignos said.
Dignos also said two fishermen jumped off the boat, but he thinks the bullets also hit them. The two are still missing.
1 dead, 2 missing after shooters attack fishermen in Sulu
According to the survivor, the shooting incident could have been a case of mistaken identity because he does not know any altercation between their group and anyone in the Sulu town that could have triggered the attack. They were also out at sea all the time.
The group took the chance to escape when the attackers appeared to have been snagged in fishnets that had been laid out in the water earlier.
The survivors reported the attack at the Zamboanga City Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) station and asked the authorities to help them bring the captain’s body home.
Chief of the PCG station Commander Paul Ryan Gonzales said the fishermen anchored at Dumagoc village with the lifeless body of their captain. They then immediately brought the corpse to a morgue.
Gonzales identified the three other survivors as Sergio Arañez, Dario Bas, and Roque Subing-subing and the two missing fishermen as Joseph Delmiguez and Nicanor Cuer.
The chief said the group did not coordinate with PCG when they left the city on April 25 nor when they arrived in Sulu on April 27. Gonzales said Pagadian PCG station is now coordinating with PCG’s Zamboanga station for reports on the missing fishermen.