THE Vietnamese sailors rescued by the Philippine Navy (PN) will soon be reunited with their families in Vietnam.
This, as Rear Admiral Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) commander, on Sunday, November 12, turned them over to Nugyen Duc Bien, Vietnam foreign affairs ministry’s protection of overseas citizens division chief.
Bien paid a courtesy visit on Sunday to Medina at the NFWM headquarters and to Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief, at Camp Don Basilio Navarro.
Rescued on Friday near Kang Tipayan Island, Languyan, Tawi-Tawi were: Buy Xuan Vien; Bui Trung Duc; and, Nguten Quang Huy.
The troops also recovered the remains of Nguyin Huu Trong, who died in captivity.
Bien expressed his country's gratitude to the efforts rendered by PN and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the rescue of his countrymen.
“I sent their photographs to their family and they were happy. On behalf of the Vietnamese Government, thank you very much,” he added.
Huy, the skipper of MV Giang Hai 05, has expressed his desire to remain as a ship captain of a Marine Vessel despite they were abducted on February 19, this year.
Huy and his companions were among the 17 crewmen of M/V Giang Hai 05 the Abu Sayyaf bandits have hijacked on February 19, this year, off Pearl Bank, Pangutaran, Sulu.
Government troops rescued 10 of the 17 crew while the bandits killed two of them when they tried to escape and took the remaining five to the mainland Sulu.
“I would like to thank you sir and the Navy for saving me and my friends’ lives and we are excited to go home,” he added.
The rescued Vietnamese sailors are expected to returned to Vietnam soon and expected to be with the Vietnamese Prime Minister while the latter is in Manila for the Asean meeting.
After the call at the NFWM, Bien and the three rescued sailors together with Medina proceeded to the Wesmincom headquarters for a courtesy call to Galvez.
Galvez was equally delighted that the Vietnamese can return home reunite with their families.
Galvez hosted a simple but meaningful send-off lunch for the Vietnamese nationals.
Meanwhile, Medina expressed his gratitude to Dr. Baybayan of Crystal Clear Vision for providing eye check-ups and eye glasses needed by the rescued Vietnamese. (SunStar Philippines)