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Search, rescue, retrieval ops continue for Basilan ferry fire victims —PCG

Search, rescue, and retrieval operations for the victims of the fatal Basilan ferry fire are still ongoing, the Philippine Coast Guard said Sunday.

Interviewed on Super Radyo dzBB, Philippine Coast Guard-BARMM Commodore Rejard Marfe said that they continue to deploy floating assets and small boats in the area in the hopes of rescuing more survivors or finding more cadavers.

“May mga reported pa kasi na mga relatives na hinahanap ang kanilang mga kamag-anak na kabilang sa mga pasahero sa nasunog na MV Lady Mary Joy 3,” he said.

(There are those still reportedly looking for their relatives who were passengers of the MV Lady Mary Joy 3 that caught fire.)

The MV Lady Mary Joy 3 was on its way to Jolo, Sulu from Zamboanga City on March 29 when it caught fire at around 10:40 p.m. The blaze was declared fire out at 7:30 a.m. on March 30.

As of April 1, Defense chief Carlito Galvez Jr. said, authorities on the ground recorded 28 dead, 32 missing, and 227 survivors.

“'Yung ating MCI team, katatapos ng imbestigasyon nila kahapon ng hapon... We are still waiting dun sa report nila para malaman natin o ma-determine natin kung ano talaga ang cause ng sunog,” Marfe said.

(Our MCI team just finished their investigation yesterday afternoon...We are still waiting for their report so we can know or determine what the actual cause of the fire is.)

He also said the owner of the ship has been extending help to the victims, as well as to the relatives of the fatalities.

Financial assistance worth P640,000, and more than P71,000 in food and non-food items, meanwhile, were distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the provincial government of Basilan to the victims, according to Galvez on Saturday. — BM, GMA Integrated News