China fishing vessel sinks Filipino boat after ‘collision’ in West Philippine Sea
MANILA, Philippines — A Chinese fishing vessel immediately abandoned a sinking Filipino fishing boat after a “collision” in Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea early this week.
The incident happened on the evening of June 9, Sunday. The Filipino vessel F/B GEMVIR 1 was anchored at the time when it was hit by the Chinese fishing vessel, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement.
The defense chief decried how the Chinese boat did not help the Filipino vessel, which sank after the collision.
“We denounce the actions of the Chinese fishing vessel for immediately leaving the incident scene abandoning the 22 Filipino crewmen to the mercy of the elements,” he said.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the Chinese fishing vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew. This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people,” Lorenzana added.
The defense chief called for the conduct of a formal investigation on the incident and for diplomatic steps be taken to prevent a repeat of such event.
A Vietnamese fishing vessel in the vicinity rescued the 22 Filipino fishermen. The Philippine Navy’s BRP Ramon Alcaraz assisted the recovery of the boat and its crew.
“We thank the captain and crew of Vietnamese vessel, for saving the lives of the 22 Filipino crew,” Lorenzana said. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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