President Rodrigo Duterte on November 29 said the Vietnamese fishermen caught poaching in West Philippine Sea just 34 nautical miles off Cape Bolinao is just a “minor” incident and should be forgiven.
Duterte, during the send-off for the five Vietnamese fishermen in Sual, said he is forgiving the poachers in the “interest of the larger picture.”
He said he made this commitment during the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila.
“I have made a commitment and they promised to do the same to treat our poor citizens who may happen to intrude somewhere,” Duterte said.
The Vietnamese fishermen were turned over to the Philippine Navy in Sual after they were arrested in September.