The Philippines' navy chief has relieved from duty the captain of a ship that figured in a confrontation with a Vietnamese fishing boat on the weekend, leaving two fishermen dead.
The crew of the navy patrol ship BRP Miguel Malvar was placed under restrictive custody aboard the vessel to make sure they are available during the investigation into the incident on Saturday off Bolinao town, over 200 kilometres north of Manila.
Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado ordered a "thorough and impartial inquiry into the unfortunate incident," said Colonel Edgard Arevalo, a spokesman for the armed forces.
Mercado had also commissioned an independent third-party investigation, Arevalo said.
According to a police report, 49 officers and personnel were aboard the BRP Miguel Malvar when it tried to stop the Vietnamese fishing boat on suspicion of illegal fishing.
But the fishing boat fled, prompting the Philippine navy ship to chase it.
The Foreign Affairs Department said navy personnel fired warning shots during the chase when the Vietnamese boat "initiated dangerous manoeuvres" causing it to slam into the Philippine vessel.
Five other crew members of the Vietnamese fishing boat were arrested after the incident.
Dozens of Vietnamese fishermen are arrested every year for poaching in Philippine waters. They are usually charged for illegal fishing and entry, detained for months while undergoing trial and fined.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Duterte says Philippine police must return to drug war
Snake on a train: Indonesian kills serpent with bare hands
Dining goes digital for Thailand's street food vendors
Massive search for US sailors after Philippine Sea air crash
Fleeing Rohingya ‘drained’ by trauma, says UN refugee chief
Singapore to deploy driverless buses from 2022: minister
Myanmar operation against Rohingya 'ethnic cleansing': US
Arrested Indonesian parliament speaker pleads to keep his job
Thais hunt for 20 ethnic Uighurs after detention centre breakout