Seventeen Vietnamese fishermen, including a minor, happily waved back to President Rodrigo Duterte and other government officials as they were sent back to their country after being arrested on September 8.
President Duterte led the sending off of the fishermen who were caught poaching on the water territory of the Philippines.
"I am happy to send off my fellow human beings," Duterte said.The Vietnamese fishermen were arrested on September 8 by Philippine Navy on Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
They were charged violation of Section 91 of Republic Act No. 10654 or An Act to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing; violation of RA 8550 as amended by RA 10654 for poaching; and violation of CA 613, Section 37 (a)(1) & (7) for entering Philippine waters at Poro Point, La Union without inspection, admission, and in the absence of nine entry visa and record of arrival in the country.
But all charges were now dropped and the Justice Department issued a memorandum allowing the fishermen to return to their country without any fine.
Because of this, Vietnam was elated and vowed to help the rice stock of the Philippines.
The country has strictly prohibited poaching and illegal fishing within its territorial waters.