SUBIC, Zambales: Three fishermen from this coastal town who claimed they were physically harmed while in captivity will file a complaint against the Malaysian naval authorities who arrested them for allegedly fishing off Malaysian waters.
The three – Teody Baisa, Nelson Flamiano and Arlon Sandro – were among the 22 crew of F/B Justin Lloyd of Sisiman from Mariveles, Bataan.
F/B Justin Lloyd boat skipper Martin Datingginoo said they were fishing along Commodore Reef, or in the vicinity of the Rizal Reef detachment of the Philippine Navy, when accosted by Malaysian naval men on May 9.
He said the Malaysians ordered them to stay away from their territorial waters while aiming long firearms at them.
Datingginoo then radioed the nearest Philippine Navy station in Palawan for help, and was told to keep going towards the Philippine Navy detachment nearby.
He also instructed the three to go near the Malaysian ship on board a small boat to present their documents, but the fishermen were instead arrested.
Baisa, told The Manila Times that they were handcuffed and made to kneel on the deck of the Malaysian ship while being kicked and punched, saying they were encroaching on Malaysian territorial waters.
“The weather was so hot and they made us kneel in the ship’s deck, luckily my short is long that my wound was not as bad as the two others,” Flamiano said.
Baisa showed his knees marked with a deep wound.
Flamiano added that while they were being kicked and punched, the Malaysians made sure they didn’t leave marks and even checked before they were released.
They were later released after the Malaysians noticed they were near the Rizal Reef detachment.
Baisa, who claimed they were never inside Malaysian waters, said they hope they can get justice for what the Malaysian Navy did to them. He insisted that the area they were fishing in for years belongs to the Philippine territory, and this was the first time they were prevented from doing this and brutally treated by foreigners.
A Philippine Navy representative met with the fishermen in Subic on Monday and with other local representatives to prepare a formal protest against the Malaysian naval men. A medicolegal record and sworn statement were being secured from the Subic municipal court.
Meanwhile, Navy officials said there was already a diplomatic exchange between the Philippine and Malaysian governments regarding the incident.
WITH REPORT FROM ERNIE ESCONDE