GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The Indonesian government has repatriated 93 more fishermen from this city and other parts of Mindanao who were earlier jailed due to illegal fishing and immigration violations.
Petty Officer 2 Aldwin Aguila, acting operations officer of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) station in General Santos City, said on Tuesday the fishermen were released from detention and sent home after getting reprieved from their prison terms.
A report released by the Coast Guard said 45 of the repatriates were from General Santos City, 43 from Sarangani Province, three from Davao Oriental, and two from Surigao del Sur.
He said the repatriates arrived at the Makar port around midnight on Sunday from Bitung, Indonesia aboard the Philippine Navy’s BRP Pangasinan (PS-31).
“Most of them were crew members of fishing boats that were caught fishing illegally within Indonesia’s territorial waters,” he said.
Aguila added that some of the repatriates were arrested and jailed by Indonesian naval personnel after their fishing boats broke down and drifted into its waters.
A number of these fishermen, who spent one to three months in detention, did not carry passports and related documents, he said.
He said the repatriation of the fishermen came after interventions made by the Philippine Consulate in Manado in North Sulawesi and the office of City Mayor Ronnel Rivera.
He said the office of Rivera sent vehicles to ferry the fishermen to their homes and preferred destinations.
Upon their arrival here, Aguila said the repatriates immediately underwent standard documentation processes and given food assistance.
In March, some 154 fishermen were also sent home by Indonesia following interventions made by the City Government and the Philippine Consulate. (PNA)