49 Philippines fishers held in Indonesia appeal for financial assistance
Ben Serrano (The Philippine Star) - January 7, 2016 - 9:00am

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines – Forty-nine Filipino fishermen detained in Indonesia are asking for financial assistance to pay for their fare home.

Of the 49, 24 are from General Santos City, 22 from Surigao City and three from Surigao del Norte.

The fishermen are being held at the Office of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries in Sorong City, West Papua province, according to Myrna Destajo, Surigao City social welfare and development officer.

Destajo said the families of the fishermen learned about their detention through radio communications of other fishing vessels with their boat, M/B RGJ.

Ophelia Poño, wife of M/B RGJ captain Rodrigo Poño, told The STAR her husband is asking for P150,000  to pay for his fare and that of 24 others.

“He told me to send his and his companions’ personal information documents, which are needed by the Indonesian authorities to facilitate their release,” Poño said.

She said she was able to talk to her husband through mobile phone.

Her husband told her that on the day they were arrested by the Indonesian authorities, 24 more Filipinos from General Santos City were caught fishing in Indonesian waters.

Poño said her husband and his companions were initially fed only twice a day and were made to sleep on concrete floors.

“An Indonesian Catholic priest based in this city informed his compatriots that we Filipinos eat three times a day. It was then that the Indonesian authorities started feeding the fishermen three times a day,” she said.

Destajo said Mayor Ernesto Matugas and the local social welfare office are helping secure the release of 22 fishermen from this city and the three others from Surigao del Norte.

The city government has distributed food packs and other assistance to the families of the 25 fishermen, she said.

The M/B RGJ left the village of Sabang 3, Surigao City on Nov. 28. It was headed not for Indonesia, but for Cantilan in Surigao del Sur to pick up fishing materials.

“On Dec. 8, they were arrested by the Indonesian authorities,” Destajo said.

 

ACIRC AN INDONESIAN CATHOLIC ATILDE CITY DESTAJO GENERAL SANTOS CITY MAYOR ERNESTO MATUGAS MINISTRY OF MARINE AFFAIRS AND FISHERIES MYRNA DESTAJO SURIGAO SURIGAO CITY
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with