By Aaron B. Recuenco
Five Vietnamese fishermen were arrested for allegedly poaching off the waters of Masinloc town in Zambales, the military said Saturday.
Commander Rodney Cudal, spokesman of the Naval Forces Northern Luzon, said the five Vietnamese almost escaped as they tried to evade the Philippine Navy ship early morning of Thursday.
He said Navy personnel approached the vicinity of some 48 nautical miles off the western part of Iba town after seeing blinding lights that are usually being used in fishing in the area.
When they approached, the vessel sped off and even dropped the nets to block the chasing Navy vessel. The Vietnamese fishing vessel was eventually cornered.
Seized were 18 super bulbs, two sacks of dried squids and 70 kilos of fresh squids. Also seen in the compartments were sharks and tuna.
“The Vietnamese were treated properly and humanely. They were already turned over to the local authorities,” said Cudal.
The Philippine government has intensified the patrol in the western part of the country due to poaching of foreign fishermen in the Philippine waters.
The intensified patrol also came amid the ongoing dispute with China on some islands and rock formations in the West Philippine Sea.