KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The police in the Malaysian state of Sabah have received a report claiming that an aircraft wreckage with the Malaysian flag painted on it was found on a southern Philippines island.
The report was made by a man who said the wreckage with human remains inside was spotted by his nephew, from the southern Philippine island of Tawi Tawi, at Ubian Island in southern Phillippines several days ago.
State Commissioner Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said the man made the report at the Sandakan police station on Saturday (Oct 10).
"This matter is being investigated," he told The Star in a text message.
In the report the man, an audio visual technician in his 40s, said his nephew 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 the police as the wreckage could be that of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared last year.
Police in the southern Philippines are baffled over claims of the discovery.
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, Supt 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 Supt Jocson, the former provincial police chief.
Malaysia Airlines 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 search for an aircraft focusing in the Southern Indian Ocean.
Last month, the French authorities confirmed a piece of wing found on the shore of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean has been identified as part of the MH370 wreckage.
The flaperon was found on the shore of the French-governed island on July 29 and the Malaysian authorities have said paint colour and maintenance-record matches proved it came from the missing Boeing 777 aircraft.