Philippines promises compensation for two slain Vietnamese fishermen

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

:: The Philippines apologized Thursday and promised compensation for two Vietnamese fishermen killed by its naval personnel during an anti-poaching operation at sea.

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana made the apology in a meeting with Vietnam’s Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich as the two Southeast Asian neighbors discussed ways to improve cooperation, especially in naval matters.

“Secretary Lorenzana also relayed President Rodrigo Duterte’s assurance that the families of the Vietnamese fishermen who died in the incident will be properly compensated,” a defense department statement said.

It did not say how much the compensation would be.

The two Vietnamese fishermen were found dead with gunshot wounds and five others were arrested after the Philippine navy chased and caught up with suspected poachers in the South China Sea last month.

Foreign fishermen have often been caught trespassing in Philippine waters. Last year President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the release of 17 Vietnamese fishermen caught in his nation’s waters.

In 2013 the Philippines apologized to Taiwan over the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by Filipino coast guards who said his vessel had illegally sailed into local waters.

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