Some 43 Filipino fishermen caught illegally fishing in Indonesian waters last year were repatriated this week from Jakarta, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Wednesday.
The DFA coordinated with the Philippine Consulate General in Manado to repatriate the fishermen who were aboard fishing vessel KM Love Merben 2 when they were apprehended on September 16, 2014 in Ternate, North Maluku for illegally fishing in Indonesian waters.
They did not have passports or travel documents when they entered Indonesia.
The fishermen said their employer, Citra Mina, whom they accused of maltreatment, abandoned them. They were allegedly not given benefits such as Social Security System and PhilHealth.
Furthermore, the fishermen said that the “master” of their fishing vessel, Alan Abi, managed to evade the arresting Indonesian authorities.
DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Jesus Yabes received the fishermen who informed him of their intention to file the necessary complaint against Citra Mina before the appropriate authorities in the Philippines for the maltreatment and abandonment they suffered.