Speedboat with US soldiers hits banca; 1 killed

Posted at 04/19/12 8:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – A fisherman was killed while his son was injured in an accident involving American soldiers on board a speedboat off the coast of Hadji Muhtamad town in Basilan Wednesday night.

The mayor of Lantawan, Tahira Ismael said the speedboat carrying the soldiers crashed into the fishing boat owned by fisherman Ahbam Juhurin at around 7 p.m.

“Pauwi na sila galing Isabela at papuntang Hadji Muhtamad. May dala silang mga isda nang mabangga sila ng speedboat ng mga Amerikano,” Ismael said.

Authorities said the soldiers brought Juhurin and his son to a hospital in Isabela.

Juhurin died due to a head injury.

The military’s Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) said it will investigate the incident.

“This is now being investigated. Hindi rin naman tayo nagkukulang sa pag-assist sa pamilya ng mga biktima,” said Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesperson of WesMinCom.

Authorities said the US soldiers involved in the accident were not part of the “Balikatan” exercises in the region.

In a text message sent to ABS-CBN News, a US embassy official confirmed that the speedboat collided with Juhurin’s fishing vessel.

“During an April 18 joint training session involving JSOTF-P and Philippine security forces, their boat collided with local fishing vessel. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the victim,” said Tina Malone. -- Report from Queenie Casimiro, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga