Villanueva says WPS incident ’huge insult’ to Filipinos on Independence Day
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Joel Villanueva on Wednesday condemned the action of the crew of the Chinese vessel that left the Filipino fishermen aboard a sinking ship in the West Philippine Sea, saying that the incident was a “huge insult” to us on the day we celebrate Independence Day.
Villanueva said the incident must serve as a reminder to Filipinos to continuously fight for freedom, and the disputed West Philippine Sea.
“This is a huge insult to us on the day we celebrate our independence,” Villanueva said in a statement.
“Let us be reminded of the sacrifices our heroes so that we can continue to have the freedom we are enjoying now. It is now our responsibility to do the same: assert our rights over the West Philippine Sea and our freedom to navigate and exploit the resources within our exclusive economic zone,” the senator added.
Villanueva said the action of the crew of the Chinese vessel was “irresponsible” as saving the lives of a fellow seafarer must be a top priority regardless of nationality.
“The incident shows the need for greater accountability and enforcement of international law in the West Philippine Sea,” Villanueva said.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Filipino vessel was anchored in Recto Bank when it was hit by the Chinese vessel last June 9.
The Chinese vessel immediately left, leaving behind the 22 Filipino fishermen aboard the sinking ship.
The fishermen were later rescued by a Vietnamese vessel. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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