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31 PH fishers repatriated from Indonesia arrive

By PNA and Yas D. Ocampo

DAVAO CITY – Thirty-one Filipinos who were apprehended and repatriated from Manado, Indonesia arrived on Friday at the Camp Feranil Pier, Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Panacan here.

Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao Public Affairs Officer Ensign Aileen Jansor said the 31 Filipinos were successfully turned over on board the BRP Lapu-Lapu of the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources near Glan, Sarangani province.

They were either overstaying or were apprehended for allegedly encroaching into Indonesian waters while some were rescued from a distressed vessel sailing beyond the Philippine border.

Jansor said the turnover was held following the successful conduct of the Maritime Law Enforcement Exercise between the Philippines and Indonesia under the Coordinated Patrol Philippine Indonesia which is an annual coordinated border patrol operations between the two countries.

The patrol operations were spearheaded by the Eastern Mindanao Command through the Philippine Navy, in coordination with the Philippine Consulate General in Manado.

According to Jansor, the successful repatriation was the result of collaborative and continued efforts of the Philippines Border Committee and the Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command.

Upon their arrival in Camp Panacan, they were met by government officials led by Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Eastmincom commander Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal.

They were provided transportation assistance and food packs by the Department of Social Welfare and Development; 150 packs of assorted seeds by the DA; fishing implements by BFAR; and buckets of foodstuff from the Office of the President. The Department of Foreign Affairs also assisted them with their travel documents.

Before they were sent back to their homes in General Santos City, Sarangani, Davao City, Davao Oriental, Zamboanga, and Tawi-tawi, the 31 repatriates underwent medical checkup.