BY: LIEUTENANT COLONEL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
Friday, 19 March 2010
A Malaysian fishing trawler hijacked in Sabah, Malaysia was rescued Wednesday, 17 March 2010 in Mapun, Tawi-Tawi by combined elements of the Philippine Navy and local government units of Tawi-Tawi.
In a report of Rear Admiral Alexander P Pama, Commander, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (C, NFWM) and Head of Joint Task Force Trillium to Vice Admiral Ferdinand S Golez, Flag Officer In Command, Philippine Navy, the Royal Malaysian Navy area II Commander, First Admiral Anui notified C, NFWM that Tong Hai, a Malaysian registered vessel with six crew members, was hijacked at Tigabu Island, Sabah, Malaysia by four suspected robbers 2 a.m. Tuesday, 16 March 2010. The hijackers were reportedly asking for a 150,000 Malaysian Ringgit as ransom. Rear Admiral Pama in coordination with the local government units of Mapun-Taganak areas, immediately dispatched BRP Cebu (PS28) backed by patrol craft with elements of the Marines from MBLT2 on board. The decisive move pressured the hijackers into fleeing back to Sabah and release the trawler to its owners.
Immediate action of these Fleet-Marine Forces resulted to the early release of the fishing boat to its owners in Sabah on 17 March 2010 in Malaysia.
This successful operation is attributed to the good relations the Royal Malaysian Navy and Philippine Navy has with its counterpart with other navies in the region. With a united stand and cooperation against terrorism and transnational crimes, Asians are assured of a peaceful and secured maritime environment. The Navy is always ready to respond to people in distress regardless of race and color. It is part of its commitment to the international community of providing security to local and national vessels transiting our waters.
OA 0200H 16 Mar10 a Malaysian fishing trawler TONG HAI w/ (6) crew members onboard and registered in Sandakan Sabah, was hijacked at Tigabu Island,Sabah Malaysia by 4 suspected robbers who were reportedly asking 150,000 Malaysian Ringgit as ransom. It is believed that the boat was taken to the Southern Philippine waters more particularly in the direction of Cagayan de tawi tawi (mapun). Info was relayed by the RMN to PN NFWM. Opns were immediately conducted by Naval Task force 62 fleet-marine forces and the lgu's in the mapun-taganak areas resulting to the early release of the fishing boat to its owners in sabah on 17 march 2010.