MANILA - Philippine maritime authorities seized a Vietnamese fishing boat after being caught fishing illegally in the waters off Tawi-Tawi province, the military said Thursday.
Soldiers and police officers spotted the foreign vessel in the waters off Bakungan Island on Tuesday, said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command.
The boat, manned by 7 Vietnamese nationals, had no permission to enter Philippine waters, the military said.
The crew members were taken to the Philippine National Police Maritime Group station in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi for investigation. They were identified as Hunya Van Day, Cao Van Mih, Lam Tang Hung, Huyuh Tuan Anh, Huyuh Van Cuong, Nguyen Ngoc Hoa and Vo Van Taun.
“I commend our marine troops and our partners from the police for your relentless efforts to secure our borders and protect our natural resources,” Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas, commander of Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi, said in a statement.
In light of the incident, Rear Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr., commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said they would continue to support other law enforcement agencies in maintaining security and order in the region.