The El Nido police on Thursday filed formal charges of illegal poaching against the 10 Vietnamese nationals caught near the Malampaya gas platform.
Charged before the prosecutor’s office for violation of RA 10654 or poaching in Philippine waters were Nguyen Thanh Hiep, 46 boat captain, Vo Van Lang, 47, Phan Dung, 49, Truong Cao Ky, 51, Dinh Van Hai, 46, Bui Van Bao, 30, Tran Ngoc Son, 24, Do Hung, 54, Nguyen Van Huynh, 56, Nguyen Cung Vu, 22 from Phu Yen Vietnam decided not to execute a waiver and allowed Prosecutor’s Office to immediately resolve his case.
The suspect’s interpreter, Tran Minh Dung, said his clients were intent to prove their innocence and that they were simply blown into Philippine territory where they were eventually caught because of strong winds.
“For safety reasons, they just let the very strong winds carry them and getting into Philippine territory was not intentional,” Tran explained.
Provincial Prosecutor Alen Ross Rodriguez, said the suspects will be subjected to a medical check up before being committed for detention at the Palawan Provincial Jail. The prosecutor has recommended a bail for P30K each
Earlier this week, Vietnamese nationals were nabbed by Philippine Navy near Malampaya platform. Around 70 pieces of slaughtered sharks had been seized from the suspects based on inventory led by BFAR.
All items confiscated from the fishing boat were turned over to the Provincial Fishery and Aquatic Resources Officer of northern Palawan.