MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has brought home 17 Filipinos arrested for illegal fishing in Indonesia, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday, May 20.
“The Philippine government is committed to providing repatriation assistance to Filipinos who may find themselves in distress overseas, including fisherfolk who stray into foreign waters,” Ambassador Ricardo Endaya said.
The DFA said it repatriated the 17 Filipino fishermen on Tuesday, May 18.
The fishermen once boarded fishing vessels KM Garuda 05, KM Garuda 06, KM Inday Hubag, KM JVY, and KM JV.
The DFA explained that they “were arrested in groups for illegally fishing in Indonesian waters.” They “were not in possession of passports nor travel documents when they entered Indonesian waters.”
The Philippine government described two of the 17 as “boat captains who served their sentence after they were arrested in 2012.”
The DFA also said it coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development “to arrange for the temporary shelter and transportation requirements” of the 17 Filipinos for traveling to General Santos City and Saranggani Province.
The DFA said it has repatriated 139 Filipino fishermen from Indonesia since January. These fishermen entered Indonesian waters “without proper documentation and permission.”
One such group of Filipino fishermen identified Citra Mina, General Santos City’s tuna exporting giant, as their employer. Forty three of them arrived in the Philippines on February 23 after the Philippine government repatriated them. – Rappler.com
Photo of silhoutte of fishermen with yellow and orange sun in the background from Shutterstock