The Daily Manila Shimbun


Philippines to compensate families of two Vietnamese fishermen who died in alleged encounter with Navy

October 26, 2017

The Philippine government assured it will compensate families of two Vietnamese fishermen that were killed during the alleged shooting incident involving the Philippine Navy off the waters of Pangasinan last month.

Arsenio Andolong, Department of National Defense (DND) Public Affairs Service chief, said Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and his Vietnamese counterpart Ngo Xuan Lich tackled the incident during their bilateral meeting in Camp Aguinaldo on Thursday.

“Having discussed the recent unfortunate incident off the coast of Pangasinan involving a Philippine Navy vessel and Vietnamese fishermen that resulted in the loss of lives, Secretary Lorenzana extended his sincere apologies to General Lich,” he said.

Two Vietnamese fishermen died in an alleged encounter with the Navy last September 23. The Navy said the Vietnamese were fishing 32 nautical miles off Bolinao, Pangasinan.

“Secretary Lorenzana also relayed President Rodrigo Duterte’s assurance that the families of the Vietnamese fishermen who died in the incident will be properly compensated,” he added.

Andolong said Lorenzana emphasized that the Philippine Navy personnel involved in the incident are being investigated by authorities.

“The Philippine defense chief assured his Vietnamese counterpart that the case will be expediently resolved in a manner that is satisfactory to all parties,” he said.

“In response, General Lich suggested the establishment of a concrete mechanism between the navies of both countries to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future to which Secretary Lorenzana agreed,” he added.

Andolong said the two defense chiefs also discussed possible ways to enhance both countries’ defense cooperation that has significantly improved since 2010 and greatly benefited both countries in the past few years.

“Our defense cooperation with Vietnam has been very positive and we intend to build on those successes,” said Lorenzana.

“We have meeting of minds to move forward, and this will be beneficial to both countries,” he added.

Andolong said “noting how Vietnam was able to develop its own military industry, Lorenzana added that the Philippines may also consider tap the expertise of Vietnam in developing the country’s defense industry.”

He said the defense chiefs also discussed “the possibility of increasing the existing opportunities for exchange of senior and junior officers, information and intelligence exchange, joint training, and addressing non-traditional security challenges such as humanitarian assistance and disaster response, piracy, illegal drugs, and terrorism.”

“Agreeing to move forward with the defense talks, both defense chiefs have delegated senior defense officials from both parties to coordinate more closely and discuss the specific details,” Andolong added. Robina Asido/DMS