Duterte to lead ceremonial sendoff of 5 Vietnamese fishermen who strayed off Bolinao » Manila Bulletin News

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By Liezle Basa Iñigo

President Duterte is expected to lead tomorrow the ceremonial sendoff of the five Vietnamese fishermen who strayed off Bolinao in September.

Pangasinan Map (Photo courtesy of Google Map)

The ceremonial sendoff of the five Vietnamese fishermen will be conducted at Philippine Port Authority, Sual, Pangasinan together with the local officials of Pangasinan.

It can be recalled that two Vietnamese fishermen were killed while five others were arrested after a brief chase off the coast of Bolinao town in September for fishing in Philippine waters.

The fatalities were identified as Le Van Liem and Le Van Reo, both aged 41 and residents of Phu Yen province, Vietnam.

Those arrested were identified as Pham To, 34, the boat captain; Phan Lam, 34 ; Nguyen Thanh Chi, 49 ; Phan Van Liem, 41; and Nguyen Van Trong, 41 – also residents of Phu Yen province, Vietnam.

The Vietnamese fishing vessel bore six bullet holes on its bow (storage), portside and stern during the incident.

Police investigated the 49-man crew of Navy ship BRP Miguel Malvar to determine who fired shots at the Vietnamese fishing vessel during the chase off the coast of Bolinao town.

Based on a report of the Philippine Navy personnel, the ship which was en route to Subic decided to make a spot check after seeing six super lights off the waters of Bolinao town. As the Navy vessel approached, one of the fishing vessels reportedly put off its lights as the Navy vessel approached and reportedly tried to escape, hitting the side of the Navy vessel in its haste to flee.

Meanwhile, the Sub-Task Group on Investigation (STGI) that conducted a probe into the death of two Vietnamese fishermen caught poaching in waters off Bolinao in September has recommended the filing of charges against two Philippine Navy (PN) personnel and eight others.

It was established by STGI that the shooting by naval forces was an unnecessary act.

It said the PN gunner miscalculated in firing the warning shots across the bow of the fleeing Vietnamese fishing boats, thereby hitting two Vietnamese fishermen hiding in the forward cargo compartment of the vessel during that fateful early morning of September 23, 2017.

Last year of the same month, Duterte sent off 17 Vietnamese who strayed off Ilocos Sur.

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