KOTA KINABALU: Police in southern Philippines are baffled over claims of the discovery of aircraft wreckage, with a Malaysian flag inside, in the jungles of a remote island.
A senior Philippines National Police official at the regional headquarters for the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said there had been no reports of any aircraft crashing on any of their islands
“We will check it out but if there is any aircraft that has gone down in our area there would have been alerts from civil aviation authorities.
“To date, there has been none,” said Maguindanao-based Regional Chief Directorial Staff Senior Supt Rodoleo Jocson, whose jurisdiction includes the southernmost Tawi Tawi province.
Contacted by The Star by telephone on Sunday, Jocson said he was puzzled by claims of aircraft wreckage being discovered at Sugbay Island in Tawi Tawi.
“There have been no reports to our provincial police in Tawi Tawi of any aircraft wreckage being found as well,” said Jocson, the former provincial police chief.
On Saturday, a 46-year-old audiovisual technician reported to Sandakan police that a visiting relative from Sugbay Island had stumbled upon aircraft wreckage there in early September.
In the report the man said the relative and a few others were hunting for birds when they spotted the wreckage on the island.
They managed to get near the wreckage where they found human bones. They also found skeletal remains in the pilot's chair with the seat belt fastened.
Before leaving the area, they took a flag they found in the wreckage.
The man said he informed police as the wreckage could be that of an airplane that disappeared last year.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said they were investigating the man’s claims and are still trying to verify their authenticity.
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 disappeared in March last year en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board, most of them China nationals.
The incident triggered one of the largest searches for an aircraft focusing in the Southern Indian Ocean.
Last month, French authorities confirmed a piece of wing found on the shore of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean as being from MH370.
The flaperon was found on the shore of the French-governed island on July 29 and Malaysian authorities have said paint colour and maintenance-record matches proved it came from the missing Boeing 777 aircraft.
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