Fifty-three Filipino fishermen, detained over a month in Palau for illegal fishing, were sent home on Thursday after a settlement agreement with the government.
Philippine Ambassador to Palau Ramoncito Marino said the Filipino fishermen were arrested
One group, comprised of 29 fishermen from Sarangani Province, were caught fishing
close to Palau’s Meril Island on April 26.
After their arrest, the fishermen and their boat, FBCA Joan 03, were brought under custody.
On May 16, another vessel FBCA McDennis with 24 of its crew were also apprehended and the boat confiscated.
The fishermen were allowed to sail back home after the owners of each boat paid $13,500 each as fines.
The Palau Attorney General’s Office earlier wanted to impose a fine of as high as $100,000 and consfiscation of the two vessels.
However, after a plea to President Johnson Toribiong by the embassy, the fines were reduced.
Marino thanked Toribiong for considering the reduction of fines and allowing the fishermen to
return home. - VVP, GMA News