Criminal complaints have been filed against two of the crewmen of the ill-fated sailboat which carried two Chinese nationals who drowned after falling off the recreational seacraft in waters off Panglao on Sunday last week.
Paraw sailboat captain Rufino Labastida, 46, and his assistant Randy Anligis, 24, are facing a reckless imprudence resulting to double homicide case which was filed before the Bohol Provincial Prosecutor’s Office when government offices resumed work on Thursday, said Police Patrolman Filbert Amante, Desk Officer of the Panglao Police Station.
The sailboat, registered under Island Surfer Paraw Sailing, is reportedly owned by a Chinese national.
Amante said that the owner could also be held liable for the incident, although he has already expressed intent to extend aid to the families of the victims who were identified as Luo Renwei, 63, and Lan Rong, 56.
Earlier reports indicated that Luo and Lan accidentally went overboard after their paraw sailboat which carried eight other Chinese tourists was hit by strong winds in Doljo Point off Panglao on Sunday afternoon. Anligis and Labastida jumped off the seacraft and tried to rescue both tourists but the sailboat drifted away from them.
Seaman First Class Mark Philip Tan of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Western Bohol said that the four individuals were adrift at sea for at least 40 minutes before they were chanced upon by a yacht which came from Balicasag Island. The vessel took them to the Tagbilaran City Port, but both tourists were already lifeless upon arrival.
Meanwhile, Labastida maintained that he told the two fatalities to wear their lifejackets but they insisted not to wear them. He issued the statement on Thursday during a joint meeting conducted by the PCG, Panglao Tourist Police, Panglao Police Station and the local government unit in Panglao.
“Gi sultihan g’yud kuno sa kapitan na pasuoton daw og lifejacket,” said Tan.
According to Tan, they were also able to confirm that the sailboat which carried 10 passengers including Luo and Lan was not overloaded during the incident.
The vessel however was noted to have set sail without clearance from the PCG.
The PCG took custody of the sailboat while paraw sailing activities in Panglao were suspended pending further investigations on the incident.
Tan said that the owner of the sailboat was unable to present documents for their paraw sailing operations prompting the PCG to order the suspension and look into the permits and emergency preparedness of other operators of paraw sailing and other recreational water activities in the town. (R. Tutas)