Two Vietnamese fishermen caught poaching in the West Philippine Sea died off Bolinao in Pangasinan, the Philippine Navy said on Sunday.
The cause of death has yet to be determined.
Five of the dead men’s companions were apprehended by authorities and turned over to the police.
Lt. Jose Covarrubias, spokesman of the Naval Forces of Northern Luzon, said seven Vietnamese fishermen were seen poaching within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone by using a fish attractor super light.
Covarrubias said members of the Philippine Navy caught the Vietnamese fishermen at 2 a.m. Saturday more than 30 nautical miles west off Bolinao. Reports said the Navy ship was rammed by the fishermen. Covarrubias said there were also reports that the Vietnamese fishermen clashed with the Philippine Navy ship.
He refused to give other details, noting that police authorities are still investigating the case.