Sabado, Disyembre 2, 2017

Unlike Filipinos, Vietnamese don’t shoot Pinoy Fishermen

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

When the Presidential Management Staff told us media men that President Rodrigo Duterte would visit Sual, Pangasinan at 3 pm today to send off the five Vietnamese sea poachers arrested last September (the other two were shot to death by the cocky men of our Philippine Navy), I told Ruel Camba, newspaper editor and broadcaster, we leave Dagupan City at 10:30 am so we could hobnob with his PR client Sual Mayor Roberto “Bing” Arcinue.

When we arrived at the mayor’s cozy office inside the swanky multi-million pesos huge town hall (the first class coastal town has P311 million annual appropriation funds this year, thanks to the coal power plant that pays P100 million taxes annually), Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines Ly Quoc Tuan and his Military Attaché’, that I assumed a colonel despite a three-star on his shoulder board insignias, were exchanging pleasantries with the hizzoner.
Author pressed flesh with Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines Ly Quoc Tuan during the visit  Wednesday of President Rodrigo Duterte in Sual, Pangasinan.

When Kuya Bing called me and Ruel to join the Vietnamese dignitaries in their lunch with sinigang na malaga, egado, pork giniling, adobo, and others I told His Excellency Tuan that I was a lover of the Vietnamese history.
"My idol is General Vo Nguyen Giap, he defeated the French in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and the Americans in March 1973,” I cited.
I told Ruel that French Colonel Christian de Castries, commander of the mountainous Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam, put six satellite fortresses he allegedly named from his seven mistresses Huguette, Claudine, Dominique, Anne-Marie, Beatrice, Gabrielle, and Isabelle.
The defeat of the French that was concluded in those trench battles reminiscent of World War 1 humiliated France and ended her colonization of that Indochina country that saw the intervention of the superpower United States that dragged the war till early of 1970s.
Giap, a former journalist, was the military leader in Vietnam for more than 30 years and is regarded as one of the greatest military strategists ever. According to He: 1) led the Viet Minh in the critical stages of war against France; 2) was the strategist behind Dien Bien Phu; 3) helped create the Ho Chi Minh trail; 4) built up the North Vietnamese army; 5) lead the North Vietnamese forces Viet Cong in the war against the United States; and 6) masterminded the Tet Offensive that became the last straw of the U.S involvement in that sorry but proud country.
Son of a gun, Vietnam should be proud as it overtook last year the Philippines in snaring billions of U.S dollars in hosting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the ASEAN 10 where the Philippines was even named by World Bank to have the most poor people compared to Cambodia and Laos - not the real la-os in the vernacular but the real country near Vietnam.
After President Duterte,  Ly Quoc Tuan, and government officials sent off to their sea vessel the five poachers who would be sailing from Sual to Vietnam for several days, I saw 15 minutes later the Ambassador standing alone at one of the corners of the wharf waiting probably for his official limousine.
Your Excellency can you still remember me?” I went to the envoy by using an address that befits his president he represented in this rambunctious country.
“Yah, the guy who loved General Giap!” his eyes lightened up.
After I posed my first two questions to him I saw behind my shoulders national and local television and newspaper reporters and cameramen gathered where one of them Yolly Fuertes of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and this paper threw questions too to Ambassador Ly.
The posers revolved on the Vietnamese boat numbered PY 96173 TS that was caught illegally fishing at the Philippine exclusive economic zone 34 nautical miles off Cape Bolinao in Pangasinan Province from 8:30 pm on September 22 to 1:00 am the following day.
As Philippine Navy vessel's PS19 pursued the six Vietnamese ships that were caught inflagrante delicto using powerful lights to draw fish, one of them tried to obstruct and attack the huge BRP Miguel Malvar.
The crew of PS19 opened fire on the men at PY 96173 TS when they intended to ram the front of the government vessel.
Two Vietnamese fishermen were killed from the volley of fires from the Filipinos while several others were arrested following the incident
Despite the investigation being done by both countries' foreign affairs offices, I asked the ambassador if his country will file a criminal case against the naval men.
Before the eyes of the Filipinos what the Filipino crew had done could either be murder or homicide because of the excessive force they used against your compatriots?” I posed.
“I tell you, this is a relation very very good relation between the two good countries,” he retorted.
He said even Filipino fishermen caught by the Vietnamese authority were not shot at in their territorial sea.
“No, we don’t do the same. We have a lot of Filipino fishermen you know we asked the Embassy of the Philippines in Vietnam to come and to pick and return them home so we have done…” he said.
When I asked him if their navy or coast guard instead shoot those pesky Chinese poachers that violated their territorial sea, this he retorted:
“No, no! We don’t use force”.
Gee whiz, the envoy whose gutsy countrymen who would die by thousands just to kill and defeat the Americans in the Historic Battles of Khe Sanh and Hamburger Hill was telling Mortz Baby that they don’t shoot Filipinos even these Flips shot to death their fellow Vietnamese and that 65-year-old Taiwan fisherman Hung Shih-cheng killed in 2013 by eight trigger happy and machine gun toting members of the Navy at the northern coast of the country near the Taiwan sea.
Before I left I gave him my second issue of our newspaper.
“You have column here?” he asked.
“Ya, at page 5 I talked about the Urban Warfare Battle of Marawi City and its counterpart in Vietnam the 1968 Battle of the City of Hue’ where 17 battalions of U.S Marines, U.S Army and Army Republic of Vietnam fought like hell versus the 10 battalions of Vietcong and the communist People’s Army of Vietnam(PAVN or NVA) who were holed in at the buildings there”.
Even the Yanks and South Vietnamese forces won the Hue’ Battle, the almost 700  Americans who died at the peripheries of Citadel of the City had psychological impacts to the American public in the U.S Mainland that help influenced Uncle Sam to end the insane war that country perpetrated during the Cold War.\


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