Authorities are checking the identity of a fisherman who reached a coastal village in Zamboanga City Monday after more than a week of drifting at sea on a speedboat.
Nasirin Indo, 43, a native of Mapun, Tawi-Tawi who said he has been living in Malaysia for years, told police he was stranded at sea for at least 10 days when his supply of gasoline ran out.
He said he drifted at sea without food and water, surviving on rainwater he caught and stored in his ice chest.
After more than a week, his boat reached Labuan, a coastal village in Zamboanga City. A local fisherman helped him tow his boat to shore.
Indo was then turned over to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for further questioning.
PCG-Zamboanga Lieutenant Commander Alvin Dagalea said they are still verifying Indo's real identity after he gave two different names. He also at first claimed that he was a Malaysian national, only to admit later that he is a Filipino and a native of Tawi-Tawi.
Dagalea said they are also coordinating with other military and police intelligence units to hasten the verification process.
Indo’s speedboat has a 40-horsepower engine, which authorities noted ordinary fishermen could not afford. He was quick to clarify that he bought his speedboat on an installment basis and that he has yet to finish payments.
Dagalea said they would like to know if Indo has an arrest warrant or any case related to a criminal or terrorist group operating in southern Mindanao.
If they find no derogatory records, Dagalea said they would look for ways to help Indo return to Malaysia.