Philippine officials said they have investigated but found no sign of reported wreckage and remains that some have linked to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared in March last year. Officials said fishermen and other residents of the southern islands where debris was reportedly spotted had no knowledge of it either.
"The Navy has circled the island and asked the fishermen there but they said they haven't seen anything," Elizalde Quiboyen, police chief of Tawi-Tawi province, told International Business Times in a phone interview. Tawi-Tawi includes the Sugbay and Ubian islands, where wreckage and human remains were reportedly found.
"The search is continuous. The people have been called. The village chiefs have been called," Quiboyen said, adding that his troops also went island to island on pump boats. "The local fishermen should know, but they can't tell us anything."
Malaysian authorities over the weekend said they had received reports of the find and were investigating it. The wreckage reportedly had Malaysian Airlines' colors.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared March 8, 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 227 passengers and 12 crew. The search has been mainly focused in the southern Indian Ocean, because data indicated the plane veered far off its northeastern flight path. The Philippines is far to the east of Malaysia, and thousands of miles north of the current search area.
A Philippine Coast Guard official said he has received many calls asking about the reported sighting but has received no official information. A navy spokesman could not be immediately reached on his mobile phone.
In July 2014, another Malaysian Airlines jet, Flight MH17, was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew. The two incidents have hurt the airline's business, pushing it into a rebranding scheduled for next month.