A fisherman who was allegedly dynamite fishing in waters off Mabini town was shot by police during a water pursuit on Sunday afternoon.
According to Staff Sgt. Freddie Escolano, investigator for the Mabini Police Station, the six suspects who were onboard two motorized bancas threw dynamites at the pursuing police officer who was identified as Staff Sgt. Joel Bayron.
Escalano said that Bayron who was armed with an M16 rifle and was accompanied by “Bantay Dagat” operatives shot at the bancas aiming at their engine, but instead hit the right leg of one of the fishermen who was identified as Noel Vallente, 38.
“Kaning mga mananagat na nag dynamite fishing nanibat mao iyang [Bayron] gigukod. Kamulo siyang gukod gilabayan siya og dinamita ikadaghan maajo gani wa maigo,” said Escolano.
This was refuted however by the fishermen’s families who claimed that they did not provoke the police.
According to Escalano, the chase ended when Bayron ran out of fuel.
He claimed that the fishermen then taunted Bayron as they circled his immobile vessel.
More members of the town’s “Bantay Dagat” then arrived and continued the pursuit but the fishermen were able to escape.
“Wala na mi kahibaw aha na tong pumpboat. Kusog kaayo ilang mga pumpboat,” said Escolano.
Escolano added that they only received information that Vallente was confined at the Don Emilio del Valle Hospital in Ubay.
Authorities then proceeded to the hospital and placed Vallente under arrest.
Meanwhile, the other fishermen remained at large including three who were identified by police as Jimmy Vallente, Bruc Lee Boyore and Nicko Tero, all residents of Ubay town.
Vallente and the rest of the suspects will be charged for violating RA 10654 or the Fisheries Code of 1998.
They will also face raps for resistance and disobedience to authority.
Escalano noted that illegal fishing is rempant in waters off Mabini but these are mostly being carried out by residents from other towns. (RT)