Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines Nguyen Vu Tu on Aug. 17 paid a consular visit to 122 Vietnamese fishermen who were arrested on May 30 and 12 others who were rescued from a recent storm in Palawan province.

The diplomat also visited the Chairman of Palawan province, providing further information on the economic contract between Vietnamese and Filipino companies relating to the 122 Vietnamese fishermen.

He stressed that the Vietnamese fishermen did not deliberately violate laws and waters of the Philippines , expressing wish that the Philippine authorities will examine and handle the case in the spirit of humanity and in line with the traditional friendly relations between the two countries.

The Vietnamese Embassy and the fishermen’s families will continue working with relevant Philippine agencies and complete documents to accelerate the case so as 122 fishermen and their seven fishing vessels will soon go back to Vietnam .

According to the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department, on May 30, 2011, seven fishing vessels of Binh Thuan province with 122 fishermen on board were seized by the Philippine Navy about two nautical miles (3.6km) off Tamburok coast of Balabac, in Palawan province.

The fishermen were planned to go to the Philippines for fishing under the economic contract between the Long Hai Long Company of Vietnam and the Philippines ’ Premiere International Interfishing Company. The fishing vessels and crews were arrested in the Philippines ’ territorial waters, when they had yet to complete necessary legal procedures.

Meanwhile, 12 other fishermen of fishing vessel QNg 90510TS, who were in distress in a storm and rescued by the Philippine Navy on July 27, were completing procedures to return to Vietnam on Aug. 19./.