PH Navy on fishermen abuse in Malaysia: Gov’t dealing with it
The Western Command (Wescom) of the Philippine Navy said concerned authorities were addressing the latest incident in the West Philippine Sea where Filipino fishermen arrested in the Philippine-claimed Rizal Reef (Commodore Reef) were physically harmed by Malaysian naval authorities, who nabbed them for supposedly fishing in their waters.
Wescom spokesperon Captain Cheryl Tindog said they immediately provided assistance and support to the fishermen when they received them early this month.
Three Filipino fishermen arrested by the Malaysian Navy last May 9 claimed they were assaulted by authorities while in detention.
One of the fishermen, Nelson Plamiano, told Inquirer Central Luzon that they were handcuffed, slapped in the face, punched and kicked in the chest.
The three received medical attention when they were received by the Philippine Navy. While they sustained bruises, they were in stable condition, Tindog said.
The fishermen were arrested for allegedly fishing in Malaysian waters but the fishermen claimed they were fishing within the territorial waters of the Philippines, 17 nautical miles from the Rizal Reef. They were freed a day after the arrest.
“We also made the necessary report and communicated same to the cognizant agencies that would immediately address the situation,” Tindog said.
“While this situation is being dealt with by concerned government agencies, Wescom shall continue to perform its mandated tasks at the frontlines in support of our national government’s action on the prevailing situation in the West Philippine Sea involving other countries,” she added. RAM/rga
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