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In the morning of January 10, 2017, at about 8:00 am, Zamboanga City was surprised with the news in the radio that a fishing boat was boarded by unknown armed men who gunned down the fishermen on board. Upon hearing the news, Regional Director of BFAR IX, Isidro M. Velayo, Jr., MDM immediately instructed members of the Fishery Law Enforcement Team to coordinate with Local Law enforcement and to verify the news.

On January 11, 2017, the Regional Director himself conducted an on-the-ground investigation and visited the survivors of the incident and family of the victims. The murdered crew were identified as: Tammy S. Gaviola (married with 3 children); Erwin G. Canete (married with 1 child); Hernani Bagalanon (master fisherman, 45 years old/Married with 8 children, including one of the victim Richard Bagalanon); Richard Bagalanon (son of Hernani Bagalanon, 16 years old); Rodolfo Sevilla (single, 53 years old); Ariel Anduar (married, 29 years old); Vicente Talatas (Married); Arnel Madrigal (Married). While the survivors of the massacre were Ervin Banaan (37 years old, married, with 3 children); Muhmar Sakandal; Mukim Abdulmajid; Masboy Ailani; Arcie Salbi; Jovin Ituralde and Arabi Bellaan. All the victims are resident of Sangali, Zamboanga City.

Director Velayo highly recommended that the family of the massacred victims be provided with assistance including Mr. Ervin Banaan, who miraculously survived and was traumatized by this event.