MANILA – Malacañang has assured Vietnam of an impartial investigation of the sea chase at the weekend in Pangasinan involving the Philippine Navy and Vietnamese fishing boats where two fishermen were killed. Five other fishermen are in detention.
The Navy vessel was enroute to Subic, Zambales when the Filipino officers spotted six Vietnamese fishing vessels inside the 200-nautical-mile Philippine exclusive economic zone.
The Navy said the fishing vessels did not stop despite being flagged down and even after the Navy patrol gave warning shots.
It was unclear whether two of the Vietnamese fishermen died because of the warning shots.
“Authorities are now conducting a fair and thorough investigation into the incident involving a Philippine Navy vessel and Vietnamese fishing boats which were seen fishing in Bolinao, Pangasinan,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said.
Five Vietnamese fishermen had surrendered and were detained at a precinct in Bolinao.
Meanwhile, reports from Vietnam said only one fishing vessel had an encounter with the Navy.
The report said the fishermen were forced to fight back when the Navy chased them, but full details have yet to be determined.
In New York City, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also assured Vietnam’s deputy prime minister Pham Binh Minh of an impartial and full investigation during an informal ASEAN meeting at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.