Vietnam is seeking clarification following reports that two of its fishermen died following an altercation with the Philippine Navy on Friday night.
Five other fishermen were reportedly arrested for intruding into Filipino waters during the incident.
Vietnam’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday that it has ordered the embassy in Manila to contact local authorities for further update and take necessary measures to protect the remaining fishermen.
It said the ministry received news of the shooting on Saturday.
The Filipino government said a fishing boat from Phu Yen Province in central Vietnam had been fishing off the town of Bolinao on the Philippines’ west coast on Friday night when it rammed into a Filipino naval vessel during a chase, prompting its officers to fire warning shots.
Filipino Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano informed his Vietnamese counterpart, Pham Binh Minh, of the encounter during a meeting at the United Nations in New York on Sunday, assuring him of a “fair and thorough investigation,” the Associated Press reported.
Minh, who also serves as Vietnam’s deputy prime minister, reportedly expressed his opposition at the use of force against Vietnamese fishermen.
A Vietnamese embassy delegation visited the detained fishermen on Sunday afternoon.
Hundreds of Vietnamese fishermen have been arrested for encroaching in foreign waters in recent years.
Malaysia has arrested more than 70 Vietnamese fishermen since April, while more than 1,000 others have been released by Indonesia so far this year.