PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the deportation of 10 Vietnamese fishermen caught poaching on Philippine waters.
“I have ordered the other companions of that group [of Vietnamese]who intruded into our economic zone…that they should…I told [Justice Secretary Vitaliano] Aguirre to just dismiss the case and deport them. After all, there were some of them who already died,” Duterte said on Friday in a news conference on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting hosted by Vietnam.
Two Vietnamese were killed by the Philippine Navy in Pangasinan last March after a chase off the waters of Palawan, which was part of the country’s exclusive economic zone.
“We’re not after the fact that this [intrusion]has to be proven in the investigation, that our ships, the Coast Guard were being rammed. You have to capture [the poachers]. If you cannot capture the poachers, you may pursue them. If it is an act of robbery and there’s the danger of the victim being killed, then that is the time that you can use force,” Duterte said.
Arrested for poaching in August were: Thanh Hiep, Vo Van Lang, Phan Dung, Truong Cao Ky, Dinh Van Hai, Bui Van Bao, Tran Ngoc Son, Do Hung, Nguyen Van Huynh and Nguyen Cung Vu. They are aged from 22 to 56 years old.
Duterte’s position was in contrast with that taken by the military in August, when it announced that the erring Vietnamese fishermen would face poaching charges. LLANESCA T. PANTI