Bong Go: Fisherfolk should be taught territorial boundaries to avoid arrest
DAVAO CITY – Filipino fishermen venturing into the open seas needed to be educated or reminded on how far they could go to avoid being detained in neighboring countries, especially in Indonesia, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go said Saturday.
Go said territorial boundaries should be properly communicated with Filipino fishing boat owners as well.
Go issued the statement after welcoming 31 fishermen repatriated from Indonesia on Friday here.
He said most of the time, Filipino fishermen did not know they were already intruding into foreign territories.
While he did not provide figures, he said a number of Filipino fishermen had been languishing in Indonesian jails after they were arrested for intruding into Indonesian waters.
“I’m happy that our government has been doing its best to repatriate our countrymen from Indonesia,” he said.
Go said he would bring up the issue of detained Filipinos in Indonesia to President Duterte, so that the President could tackle it when he meets Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the 32nd ASEAN Summit in Singapore later this month.
“I am currently looking for ways to assist the repatriated Filipinos and expedite the repatriation process of other Filipinos left detained in Indonesia,” Go said, adding that he was also talking with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.
“There are still many Filipinos who have remained in Indonesia as detainees after illegally entering, overstaying or fishing in Indonesian territories,” he said.
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