Ten Filipino fishermen detained for illegal fishing in Indonesia arrived in the city last Saturday.
They were brought home by the contingent of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) who participated in the recently concluded second leg of this year’s Philippine-Indonesian Coordinated Patrol.
The fishermen – arrested by Indonesian authorities for alleged illegal entry and fishing in the waters of Indonesia – were released through the effort of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Liaison in Manado, Indonesia.
During their arrival at Sasa Wharf on Saturday noon, EastMinCom Commander Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. and Uriel Norman Garibay of DFA-Mindanao welcomed them in a ceremony after the berthing of Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Emilio Jacinto.
The fishermen were subsequently turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for processing and assistance prior to their return to their communities.
Garibay, in an interview, said the fishermen are from Davao Oriental, Sarangani, Maasim and General Santos City. Most of them were detained at Indonesia for over a year for violating the territorial water laws.
EastMinCom soldiers were in Manado, Indonesia to join in the second leg of the Border Coordinated Patrol, which is part of the continuing effort of both countries through the RP-RI Border Committee of securing the common border, curtail maritime crimes and stop sea crimes including smuggling and piracy.