Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines Nguyen Vu Tu on Aug. 17 visitted 122 Vietnamese fishermen who were arrested on May 30 and 12 others who were rescued from a recent storm in Palawan province, Philippines.
Mr. Tu also paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of Palawan province, providing further information on the economic contract between Vietnamese and Filipino companies . Those contracts allowed the above-mentioned 122 Vietnamese fishermen to fish in the Philippines’ sea.
The Ambassador proved that the Vietnamese fishermen did not intentionally violate laws and waters of the Philippines. He also expressed wish that the Philippine authorities will view and treat the case in the spirit of humanity based on the traditional friendly relations between the two countries.
The Vietnamese Embassy and the fishermen’s families will continue working with relating Philippine agencies and complete documents to speed up the case to let 122 fishermen and their seven fishing vessels soon return to Vietnam .
On May 30, 2011, seven fishing vessels of Binh Thuan province with 122 fishermen on board were seized by the Philippine Navy about two nautical miles (3.6km) off Tamburok coast of Balabac, in Palawan province, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department released.
The fishermen planned to go to the Philippines for fishing under the economic contract between the Long Hai Long Company of Vietnam and the Philippines ’ Premiere International Interfishing Company. The fishing vessels and crews were arrested in 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.
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.
Meanwhile, 12 other fishermen who were in distress in a storm and then rescued by the Philippine Navy on July 27, were completing procedures to return to Vietnam on Aug. 19. Those fishermen were on board the fishing vessel number QNg 90510TS,