FIFTEEN Philippine boat captains who have been imprisoned in Indonesia because they have illegally fished on their waters have returned to the country after their imprisonment, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
Consul General Oscar Orcine said in a statement that the Filipinos were handed over to officials of the Philippine Consulate General in Manado by Indonesian authorities.
The DFA said that the Filipinos were arrested for illegal fishing and were sentenced from five months to three years in prison, although not all of them were serving the full sentence.
"Before leaving for the Philippines, the boat captains expressed their appreciation for the assistance they were given as long as they were still in prison," said Orcine.
The repatriated Filipinos also received a social assistance benefit of P5,000 each before they boarded the Philippines for their flight.
In the meantime, five other Filipinos who were arrested because they stayed in Indonesia for too long were also repatriated. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA