The 13 rescued fishermen rescued by the PCG after their fishing boat collided with a foreign vessel in Agutaya waters. (Photo from PCG)

Four crew members of the foreign commercial vessel that collided with a Filipino fishing boat on the weekend of May 28, with seven fishermen still missing, have been charged with criminal offenses.

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant Admiral Artemio Abu, on Thursday confirmed that authorities have filed complaints in the Antique Provincial Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday afternoon for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicides, multiple injuries, and damage to property against the Croatian ship master of MV Happy Hiro, Meshay Amir; Romanian second mate, Bogdan George Antonie; and Filipino officers Tyrone Albina Maquiling and Mckinley Panuncialman Amante.

Meanwhile, the kin of seven fishermen still missing are asking the authorities to deploy divers to retrieve the bodies of their family members, whom they believe were unable to survive the collision.

“Tanggap namin kung ano ang nangyari sa kapatid ko gusto lang talaga ng pamilya namin na makita ‘yong katawan ng kapatid naming. Napakasakit naman kung hindi namin makita ang katawan,” Lorna Cena, sister of Molly Cena, told Palawan News.

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On May 28, the Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship MV Happy Hiro collided with the Filipino fishing boat FV JOT-22. This occurred 26 kilometers (14 nautical miles) off the shores of Agutaya, Palawan’s Maracanao Island.

Authorities identified the missing fishers as Joseph Pescante, 49; Rolly Mata, 33; Ramon Eral, 27; Edward Alolor, 39; Nelson Mata, 50; J.R. Dela-Peña, 27; and Molly Cena, 42.

The 13 out of the 20 fishing crew were only rescued past 9:00 p.m. by another Filipino fishing vessel that happened to pass by the area.

The 13 rescued crew members were identified as Donde Petiero, 38, from Estancia, Iloilo; and the rest from Bantayan Island in Cebu province, including Roderico Mata, 31; Randy Mata, 36; Renie Espinosa, 38; Mario Quezon, 24; Sammuel Ducay, 40; Rendil Dela Peña, 42; Martin E. Flores Jr., 58; Jupiter Jbañiez, 38; Andring Pasicaran, 43; Jonel Mata, 30; Joemar Pahid, 32; and Arjay Barsaga, 26.

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.