MANILA—Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) units are now tracking down the suspected pirates who attacked a Vietnamese-flagged cargo vessel off Tawi-Tawi, killing one of the crewmembers and abducting six others last Sunday.
AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo in a briefing Monday identified the Vietnamese ship as the M/V Giang Hai 05, which was attacked at about 8:25 p.m. last Sunday, some 17 nautical miles off Pearl Bank, Tawi-Tawi.
The suspected pirates shot dead one of the crewmembers and abducted six others before making their escape, leaving 10 others behind.
Philippine authorities learned of the incident after fishermen spotted the ship drifting off nearby Turtle Island along with the remaining 10 crewmen.
Arevalo said this prompted Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi commander Brig. Gen. Custodio Parcon,Jr., to deploy the 48th Marine Company to secure the drifting vessel.
They were aided by elements of the Philippine National Police, Coast Guard and Littoral Observatory Station Taganak.
Security forces recovered 12 empty shells of a 5.56mm automatic rifle aboard the ship.
Arevalo said they still had no information on the identities of the suspected pirates nor whether the Abu Sayyaf terrorists had a hand in this incident.
He added that an investigation is now underway to determine this fact.