PCG Zamboanga intercepts 63 undocumented filipinos PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 18:05

By BHONG SIMBAJON

Members of the Philippine Coast Guard Zamboanga Station intercepted at least 63 undocumented Filipinos who were on board a local inter-island vessel off the seas of Basilan.

Zamboanga City Coast Guard Station chief Lt. Commander Noriel Ramos said that members of his command under their advance station based in Basilan province intercepted a report that around 1:30pm on Sunday afternoon that a local vessel named M/L Hapidz was en route to Zamboanga City from Isabela,Basilan and was transporting undetermined number of passengers.

PCG Zamboanga immediately acted on that radio message and thus was able to intercept M/L Al Hapidz, which was being skippered by boat captain Jawadi Adjilani, as it was approaching and already about to dock in PMI wharf, located in Baliwasan seaside, this city.

Ramos said that during the inspection, the vessel was carrying some sixty three (63) passengers. At the same time, the combined inspection team from PCG Zamboanga together with the K9 Unit of PCG Southwestern Mindanao under the command of Captain Joseph Coyme, in coordination with Joint Task Force Zamboanga and Zamboanga City Police Office apprehended the undocumented individuals and immediately conducted security inspection and paneling of all baggage on board.

After clearing, the undocumented individuals were subsequently escorted to the Department of Social Welfare and Development Processing Center for Displaced Persons (DSWD-PCDP) located in Barangay Mampang, this city for proper legal disposition, wherein it was also discovered that twenty (25) of the passengers does not have any identification. Sixteen of them were found to be minors. The other passengers who have identification and other documents were subjected to proper profiling and later released to DSWD custody.

Ramos said that during the process of accounting and investigation, he found out that the said passengers came from Kota Kinabalu,  Sandakan, Sabah Malaysia and have entered the Philippines via Bakungan island, Tawi-Tawi. From there, they boarded the vessel to reach Basilan and Zamboanga.

“Nagpalipat-lipat sila ng isla from Bakungan, to Sulu, then to Basilan bago makarating ng Zamboanga, mga illegal na nakatira ang karamihan sa kanila sa Sandakan kung saan may massive crackdown and Malaysian authorities on undocumented aliens, apektado ang mga ito kayat nagdesisyon silang umuwi pabalik ng Pilipinas kaysa mahuli ng otoridad doon,” Ramos said.

During the profiling process, it was found that said passengers origins are from Sibuco and Sirawai, both in Zamboanga del Norte province while the rest are from the barangays of Sangali, Upper Calarian and Sta Barbara here in Zamboanga City. (Bhong Simbajon)