Military: Chinese vessel’s sinking of Filipino boat in Recto Bank maybe ‘intentional’
MANILA, Philippines — The “collision” at Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea where a Chinese fishing boat hit and sank an anchored Filipino fishing boat appeared to be “intentional,” the military said Wednesday.
“Kung titingnan ninyo po sa incident report, may intentionality eh, kasi hindi tumigil [ang vessel],” acting Western Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Stephen Penetrante told reporters.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier condemned Sunday’s incident, saying it was a “cowardly action” of the Chinese to leave behind the Filipino crew after hitting the anchored vessel.
Twenty-two Filipino fishermen were put at risk after they were immediately abandoned by the Chinese vessel after the incident. They were rescued by Vietnamese fishermen who happened to be nearby.
Penetrante likened the incident to a “hit and run” and said it was “far from accidental,” citing accounts of the fishermen.
“It’s far from accidental kasi kung accidental po ito the SOP should be, they should stop ‘di po ba? And then they should rescue these fishermen natin ano po. E nung tinamaan nila ‘yung FB Gemvir 1 ay ano po sila dire-diretso sila. Hindi nila tinigilan, hindi sila tumigil,“ he said.
Penetrante said a full investigation is underway to determine what really happened that Sunday evening at Recto Bank.
Recto Bank is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and one of the areas considered for the Philippines’ joint exploration with China. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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