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2 soldiers in fire-stricken boat still missing

Local News • 15:30 PM Mon Apr 3, 2023
John M. Unson
Corporals Andrew Cerbatos and Marion Malda are among the boat passengers still unaccounted for. (From Basilan Governor's Office)

COTABATO CITY --- Rescuers are still searching for two missing soldiers who were on board the M/V Lady Mary Joy 3 that caught fire while sailing to Jolo, Sulu from Zamboanga City nighttime March 29.

Reports reaching the headquarters here of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region identified the two soldiers as Corporals Andrew Cerbatos and Marion Malda, of the 41st and 25th Infantry Battalions, respectively.

Richard Falcatan, provincial information officer of Basilan, told reporters here Monday the two Army corporals are among the passengers of the ill-fated boat that authorities are still trying to locate.

Officials of the Philippine Coast Guard based in Zamboanga City and in Basilan and the Basilan Provincial Police Office separately said Monday only 18 of the 31 cadavers found in the fire-stricken passenger boat and those recovered from the sea had been identified so far.

The M/V Lady Mary Joy 3 was razed by fire while sailing through the territorial waters of Muhtamad town in Basilan, on its way to the port of Jolo in the island province of Sulu.

Falcatan said there are persistent reports from Sulu stating that 11 residents of different towns in the province who were onboard the fire-stricken boat are also still missing.


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