From Update Philippines (Jun 25): Coast Guard intercepts person wounded by air strike
The Philippine Coastguard (PCG) on Friday announced they have intercepted and placed under investigation a wounded person suspected to have fled from the “war zone” in Basilan province.
Lieutenant Senior Grade Paul Gonzales, officer-in-charge of the Zamboanga Coastguard Station, identified the wounded person as Gabriel Pataraza of Mohammad Ajul, Basilan province.
Gonzales said they intercepted Pataraza around 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the local port.
He said Pataraza, accompanied by two women, was on their way to the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC) coming from a hospital in Basilan province.
He said they have coordinated with other intelligence counterparts “to help us conduct initial identification on the subject and appears to be suspicious due to alleged shrapnel wounds.”
“Based on initial assessment of other intelligence counterparts, the wounds of the subject might be the result of recent air strike conducted at Mohammad Ajul, Basilan province,” the Zamboanga Coastguard Station said in a statement.
Government troops have conducted air strike and overran an Abu Sayyaf encampment last Saturday, June 17, in the outskirts of Ungkaya Pukan town in Basilan province.
Gonzales said Pataraza was confined at the ZCMC and placed under guard by the PCG personnel.
The PCG has taken over the responsibility from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to secure all ports in the country as an offshoot of President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law here in Mindanao due to the siege in Marawi City perpetrated by the Maute group.