Bryan Nazareno (left photo) aboard a dive boat before he went missing. On the right, encircled, shows him holding his underwater camera in Amos Rock, Tubbataha Reef. (File photo courtesy of M/Y Palausports)
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The search and retrieval operation for missing diver Bryan Nazareno will continue in Tubbataha Reef despite more than two weeks of no optimistic result in finding him, the Western Command (WESCOM) said.

However, WESCOM deputy commander Brig. Gen. Lauro Tianchon said the Coast Guard District Palawan (CGDP) has already taken over the direction of the task as of last week.

“Mayroon pang naghahanap sa kanya, sa ngayon Coast Guard ang nag-take charge sa operation. Mayroon tayong mga eroplano na nag-iikot pa dyan dahil nagbabakasakali na makita sya,” Tianchon said.

Tianchon said they have to continue the search and retrieval operation despite “the long period of time” since he was reported missing.

Nazareno was reported missing on June 3 after diving in Amos Rock in the Tubbataha Reef.

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“Hindi pa naman tayo dapat titigil kahit masyado ng mahaba ang lapse ng time lalo na sa part ng family niya dahil mas lalong ayaw pa nilang itigil. Kaya tuloy tayo sa paghahanap hanggang sa makita siya,” he said.

Naval Forces West (NFW) spokesperson Lt. Ronne Riel Grimpola, meanwhile, said they will continue to send their “Islander” aircraft to Tawi-Tawi in the hope of finding Nazareno.

He said the flight mission on Monday was part of their continuing help to the Nazareno family that has never given up.

“Hindi tayo tumitigil [sa paghahanap], ang islander ng Philippine Navy ay lumipad ngayon papuntang Tawi-tawi, ito rin ay part pa rin ng ating tulong, hindi naman tayo nagpapabaya,” Grimpola said.

Previously, rescuers have shifted into search and retrieval operation in Tubattaha Reef after several days of not finding any result.

Tactical Operations Wing West (TOW West) deputy commander Col. Gerry Soliven said they have decided to shift into retrieval operation too after no sign of Nazareno has been detected.

Soliven said that all effort is being exerted, including the employment of civilian assets for the possible recovery of Nazareno.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.