Vietnam rescues 2 Filipino fishermen in West Philippine Sea
MANILA, Philippines—Vietnamese authorities rescued two Filipino fishermen near Vietnam-occupied Pugad Island (Southwest Cay) in the West Philippine Sea.
The boat carrying Benjamin Jimlan Abdulla, 36, and Crisanto Civilia Misa, 43, went adrift in high seas after it suffered engine trouble on Nov. 9, according to the Western Command (Wescom) last Thursday (Nov. 11).
The Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance found the fishermen and gave them food and clothes before turning the Filipinos over to Philippine soldiers stationed at Parola Island (Northeast Cay), a feature occupied by the Philippine military also in the West Philippine Sea.
The fishermen’s boat had been repaired on Parola and they have since returned to fishing.
“Western Command is extending our heartfelt gratitude to Vietnam and to their personnel in Pugad Island for their kind humanitarian assistance to our fishermen,” said Wescom Vice Admiral Ramil Roberto Enriquez.
The Philippines and Vietnam are claimants to portions of the South China Sea, a strategic waterway and one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Claims have also been staked by China, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.
Philippine and Vietnamese troops regularly visit each other’s stations on Pugad and Parola for joint exercises and sports.
Pugad had been occupied by the Philippines in the 1970s until it was taken by the Vietnamese.
The Philippines occupies nine islands and reefs in the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea.
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