VN works with Philippines on arrested fishermen

Vietnam has closely coordinated with Philippine concerned agencies to solve a case relate to the arrest of 122 Vietnamese fishermen in the spirit of humanity and in line with traditional friendly relations between the two countries.

The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department said, on May 30, 2011, seven fishing vessels of Binh Thuan province, BTh 98630TS, BTh 98709TS, BTh 99668TS, BTh 98079TS, BTh 99924TS, BTh 987693TS and BTh 99367TS, with 122 fishermen on board were arrested by the Philippine Navy about 2 nautical miles (3.6km) off Tamburok coast of Balabac, Palawan province of the Philippines.

According to the fishermen’s families, the 122 fishermen were planned to go to the Philippines for fishing under an economic contract between a Vietnamese private enterprise named Long Hai Long and the Philippines ’ Premiere International Interfishing Company. But the above-said fishing vessels and crews were arrested while going to the Philippines ’ territorial waters, when they had yet to complete necessary legal procedures.

Right after receiving the information, the Foreign Ministry of Vietnam sent a diplomatic note to the Philippine Embassy in Hanoi , requesting to promptly inform the incident to Philippine authorised agencies to verify and consider the early release of the Vietnamese fishermen and their vessels if the information is true.

The ministry said it also asked the Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines to closely follow the situation and coordinate with local concerned agencies to deal with the incident.

The Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines said it had contacted with Philippine concerned agencies for many times and requested the Philippine side to quickly release the fishermen and their ships, and arrange a consular visit to the fishermen. But the planned visit has not been made due to some reasons. The Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines is actively coordinating with the Philippine side to make a consular visit to the fishermen as soon as possible.

In other meetings between the two countries’ ministries and agencies, the Vietnamese side repeatedly mentioned the matter.

However, the Philippine side said the court of Palawan province is handling the case involved in the charges of illegal entry into the Philippines ’ territorial waters and illegal fishing. The Philippine Bureau of Jail Management and Penology is finalising dossiers to send to the Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines .

In the coming time, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry and the Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines will take necessary measures to protect the Vietnamese citizens in the trial./.


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