TUGUEGARAO CITY, CAGAYAN – Ten Vietnamese fishermen who were apprehended for poaching in June 1, this year, have paid a compromise fine amounting to six hundred fifty thousand pesos, thereby settling their administrative case filed before the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Region 02.
The payment of compromise fine is in addition to the waiver of ownership of their fishing vessels, reportedly worth millions of pesos, in favor of BFAR RO2.
The Vietnamese were aboard two fishing vessels identified as BD96821-TS and BD95115-TS, when they were apprehended by BFAR RO2 and Philippine Coast Guard personnel manning the DA BFAR Patrol Vessel 3010, under the command of Cmdr. Alejandro Arica of the PCG. The Vietnamese were apprehended within Philippine territorial waters northwest of Dalupiri Island in the Calayan Group of Islands, north of this province.
The Vietnamese were identified as Huyuh Thanh Tai, Pham Xuan Huu, Pham Xuan Thung, Vo Van Tiew and Nuuyen Xuan That. Aboard the other vessel were Nguyen Minh Coung, La Von Ngoe, Druong Cong Quyen, Nguyen Bui Duan, and Nguyen Khai Doing.
BFAR RO2 Regional Director Dr. Milagros Morales said that BFAR is currently working for the registration of the confiscated vessels in the name of BFAR RO2, adding that said vessels can later be used for various purposes.
BFAR RO2 FMRED Chief Atty. Arsenio Bañares said that the dismissal of the administrative cases thru payment of compromise fine is advantageous to the government.
In the Decision penned by the Adjudication Committee of the agency, it was noted that the estimated value of each vessel, plus the amount paid were higher than the minimum imposable amount of penalty that can be meted administratively.
While the Vietnamese offered to pay compromise fine, the Adjudication Committee still made an effort to determine whether the foreigners indeed committed the offense of poaching and obstruction to fishery law enforcer.
Taking into consideration the Complaint – Affidavit filed by BFAR RO2 fishery law enforcers, the evidence presented and the elements of poaching, the Committee was able to establish that the respondents indeed committed the violation leveled against them.
The Vietnamese are considered as foreign nationals and their fishing activity was conducted within Philippine waters, the Committee noted in its Order.
In their affidavit, the BFAR RO2 enforcers said that the foreign vessels, which were apprehended one after the other, were stationary when first sighted and were conducting fishing operations as evidenced by its light attractants that were turned on and fishing gears deployed.
However, upon approaching the vessels, the law enforcers said that its crew tried to evade by turning off their light and cutting their fishing lines.
BFAR RO2 FMRED Chief Atty. Arsenio Bañares said that with the resolution of the administrative case, the offenders will be released, pending clearance from other concerned agencies.
This latest payment of compromise fine follows, one similar case, also involving Vietnamese fishers, earlier this year. With reports from|Max Prudencio BFAR RO2|