2 PH Navy men charged with Viets’ slaying
SAN FERNANDO CITY—Navy men responsible for the fatal shooting of two Vietnamese fishermen on Sept. 23 have been charged but details about their cases have yet to be released.
Chief Supt. Charlo Collado, Ilocos regional police director, would not say how many of the 49 Navy men on board the ship BRP Miguel Malvar had been charged and who filed the cases.
The bodies of Le Van Liem, 41, and Le Van Reo, 41, were found on the deck of their fishing boat when the Navy men boarded it at the West Philippine Sea off Bolinao town in Pangasinan province on Sept. 23.
The bodies bore bullet wounds.
The boat’s captain Pham To, 34, and his crew, Phan Lam, 34, Nguyen Thanh Chi, 49, Phan Van Liem, 41, and Nguyen Van Trong, 41, had been detained in their fishing boat, which was towed to the wharf in Sual town in Pangasinan.
On Sept. 25, 49 personnel of the BRP Miguel Malvar surrendered their firearms, including 10 M-16 rifles and two 50-caliber guns. Their movement had also been restricted while the ship’s commanding officer had been relieved.
On Oct. 3, Chief Insp. Christopher Natnat, spokesperson of the Pangasinan provincial committee on illegal entrants, said the group had completed its investigation of the incident but he declined to give details.
The Navy ship intercepted the Vietnamese fishing boat 34 nautical miles off Cape Bolinao. The boat was one of six fishing vessels found poaching in the country’s exclusive economic zone.
The Navy men fired warning shots at the fishing boat’s bow after it ignored their calls to surrender, the police said.
But an Inquirer source said the boat lifted anchor and sped off when it saw the Navy ship’s spotlight that it thought came from a pirate ship.—GABRIEL CARDINOZA
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