Coast Guard eyes armed escorts for foreign ships plying Basilan Strait

Commander Jerome Cayabyab, officer-in-charge of Coast Guard Station Zamboanga, said on Saturday, November 12, that the PCG is looking into requiring vessels plying the Basilan Strait to have escorts or sea marshals from the PCG Special Operations Group and the Philippine Navy.

Cayabyab said it was the first recorded seajacking incident in the area. "We are still investigating why this happened," he said in Filipino.

He said the PCG is also eyeing the publication of a notice to mariners on the critical areas that they may pass through, but these areas would still have to be idenfied first.

Cayabyab also said that to prevent similar incidents, mariners should be on the lookout while on transit, and should coordinate with PCG or other law enforcement agencies in case they see something suspicious. –