A 32 year old Visayan fisherman from Negros Oriental whose defective boat drifted to the shore of Sulu was rescued by the troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu on Saturday (October 20).
Arnel Perocho, married with two children and a resident of Zamora St., Barangay Subah, Bayawan, Negros Oriental, has been working as one of the fishermen of Eldibit 888 Fishing Corporation for 5 years.
On September 15, their ship left for Payao, Palawan where they will cast their nets for 20 days.
While he was casting last September 28, his ‘banca’ had an engine trouble. He tried to fix it but the engine totally malfunctioned and its fuel ran dry. He was not able to return back to the mother ship due to the big waves that drove his boat farther.
He chased strong winds, big waves, heavy rains, and starvation for 22 days until his boat drifted to the shore of Sulu in the afternoon of October 20 where he was rescued by a CAFGU who brought him to the military camp.
He was advised to stay in the camp for two days to regain his strength and to have his medical check-up at the Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station.
With the guidance of WestMinCom commander Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, Perocho was accompanied by the troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu onboard a commercial vessel to Zamboanga City yesterday.
He was then fetched by the WestMinCom personnel at the Zamboanga City Port early this morning. Mr. Perocho was brought to Headquarters, WestMinCom prior his travel to Dumaguete City tonight bringing along with him the financial and personal assistance extended by the Western Mindanao Command, members of the Defense Press Corps, and Brigada News FM Zamboanga. He will be accompanied by the WestMinCom troops to the bus terminal to ensure his safety.
A City Councilor of Bayawan expressed her gratitude to the WestMinCom team for facilitating the rescue of Perocho and for all the assistance extended.
The CSWD of Bayawan on the other hand, communicated with Perocho’s family to bring the good news and offered to provide assistance upon the subject’s arrival in Dumaguete City tomorrow. Strong coordination between the Western Mindanao Command and the CSWD was established to facilitate the safe homecoming of Arnel Perocho.