The Philippine fish carrier apprehended last year were released Sunday, Oct 1 after posting a surety bond in the amount of $75,000, according to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).
The three remaining Filipino fishermen were also sent back home with the boat.
Johnson Toribiong, lawyer for Gene 8, said that the vessel was released but there is still a pending trial set in November.
Palau’s marine law officers have seized Gene 8 in December. Palau’s patrol boat PSS Remeliik was conducting its marine surveillance when it found the vessel 45 miles northwest of Helen Reef.
The Gene No.8 was moored to a fishing aggregation device, after which the marine officers boarded the vessel for an inspection.
Toribiong said the settlement offer was rejected and that the trial is set on November 27, 2017.
He said that the owner has field a counterclaim for damages, confiscated fish and detention among others.
Toribiong said Gene-8 suffered technical problems twice and was in distress and drifting for a while, and was arrested after her engine was repaired. The Republic confiscated gene-8 fish load of approximately 30 tons—most of the fish were also off-loaded by the crew and the rest were despoiled and had to be discharged at sea.
He said Gene 8 was exercising her right of innocent passage while making its way back to General Santos. [/restrict]