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Wrecked boat with human remains found off Samar

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Fishermen recovered on Tuesday the debris of a wrecked motorized boat and human remains which were found floating off Tarangnan, Samar.

The grisly discovery took place approximately 1.5 kilometers from the shoreline of Barangay Poblacion B, Tarangnan, operatives of the Philippine Coast Guard, and the police reported following the retrieval operations.

Meanwhile, the Tarangnan Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Office, said the retrieved body part belonged to a female.

“Lower part lang po ng isang tao ang na-retrieve. Yung bangka ay total wreck at nagkahiwa-hiwalay. Unang nakita ang bandang buntot ng bangka, sumunod na yung iba pang mga bahagi na mukhang inanod ng malakas na alon kaya magkakalayo nung ma-retrieve. Sa tantya ng mga residente kung saan dinala ang wreckage, may kapasidad na mahigit sampung katao ang pwedeng sumakay sa nasirang bangka,” the probers said.

“The retrieved remains consist of lower part of a human body. First spotted was the tail or rear end of the boat, followed by parts that looked washed away by the strong strong current. The recovered debris are far from each other. Residents of the area estimated the wrecked boat can seat at least 10 people),” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Joint Task Force Storm spokesman Capt. Ryan Layug said.

The human remains and the debris were initially turned over to Tarangnan Municipal Police Station.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Scene of the Crime Operatives later arrived to document and gather evidence and laboratory samples.

Soldiers, coast guard, and police personnel had been doing search-and-retrieval operations along the waters of Samar province since Monday after government security forces chased a suspicious boat reportedly carrying explosives.

Occupants of the boat fired upon the law enforcers, and a firefight ensued, followed by a loud explosion.

The clash took place in the sea off Canhawan-Guti village in Catbalogan around 4 a.m. on Aug. 22.

Unconfirmed reports claimed that Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) chairman Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma, the group’s secretary general, and other communist personalities were among the passengers of the motorboat that exploded.

Joint Task Force Storm commander Maj. Gen. Edgardo De Leon said “the retrieval of debris and these human remains is a positive development and we are hopeful that bits of information that will be obtained from these will provide confirmation to all earlier speculations.”

“We have coordinated with the local PNP for assistance in determining the identity of the recovered body part through appropriate laboratory procedures. We also sent drones to scour for more debris and remains, but the unfavorable weather condition over the area hindered the air surveillance mission,” he added.

De Leon also thanked the fishermen for their help with the search along with Coast Guard and PNP units.

“Hopefully may ma-retrieve pa po tayo na mga ebidensya (Hopefully, we can still retrieve more evidence),” he added.


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