THE fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Tuesday urged the Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine Navy to hasten the search and rescue for three fishermen who went missing after they went fishing at Benham Rise on March 23.
The missing fishermen from Caramoran, Catanduanes province were identified as Edwin Briones Sr., 49; his son Edwin Jr., 24, and Dindo Lucero, 31, all of Barangay Tubli in Caramoran town.
“Authorities must locate our poor fishermen who went fishing off the Benham Rise and as much as possible, must be brought back safely to their families. We are saddened about the reality that our fisherfolk have always been facing danger in their livelihood because of their backward fishing gear and technology and are unable to deal with the unstable and turbulent conditions of the sea,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya chairman, said in a statement.
“Now that the Philippine Navy has deployed a vessel to Benham Rise, they must lead the operation in search of the fishermen,” Hicap added.
The group also asked the government to assist the families of the fishermen who have been waiting for their loved ones for almost a week.
Benham Rise is a 13-million-hectare resource-rich underwater shoal located opposite the disputed South China Sea.