Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed opposition after a Filipino coast guard vessel opened fire on a Vietnamese fishing boat, resulting in the death of two fishermen.
On the sidelines of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, spoke with Filipino Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano, expressing his objection to the shooting.
Vietnam has requested the Philippines announce the results of an investigation into the case and impose stern punishment if the Filipino coast guard is confirmed to commit any violation.
The fishing ship was carrying crew members hailing from the south-central Vietnamese province of Phu Yen, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an announcement on Monday.
The Embassy of Vietnam in the Philippines has been ordered to work with local authorities to verify the case and assure necessary protection for the fishers.
According to relevant agencies in the Philippines, the Vietnamese boat, numbered PY 96173 TS, was fishing illegally in the sea area off Pangasinan Province from 8:30 pm on September 22 to 1:00 am the following day.
As vessel PS19 of the Filipino coast guard was pursuing the Vietnamese ship, the latter tried to obstruct and attack the coast guard vessel.
The PS19 opened fire on the PY 96173 TS when it intended to ram the vessel’s front.
Two Vietnamese fishermen were killed while several others were arrested following the incident.
Representatives from the Embassy of Vietnam in the Philippines have visited the arrestees to seek further information.