Poe laments China’s silence on Recto Bank incident
MANILA, Philippines — If China will not act, then the Philippines has no other choice but to bring to international courts the latest incident in the West Philippine Sea, Senator Grace Poe said Thursday.
Last June 9, a Chinese fishing vessel reportedly abandoned 22 Filipino fishermen after hitting their anchored boat at Recto Bank.
Despite strong condemnation by the Philippine government, Poe noted the seeming silence on the part of China.
“Dapat mag-protest tayo pero alam mo, ang unang hakbang dapat, mag-issue din sila ng statement kung anong gagawin nila doon sa mga gumawa no’ng pagsagasa doon sa bangka ng ating mga mangingisda,” she said in an interview in Bulacan.
Poe said Filipinos need to know how China treats the Philippines.
“Tayo ba ay kaibigan nila. Hanggang ngayon wala pa silang ini-isyung statement. Walang apology, walang guarantee of an investigation,” she said in an interview in Bulacan.
And if China is indeed a true friend, Poe said it should initiate the probe and file charges against its own people allegedly involved in the incident.
“Kung wala silang ginagawa, wala tayong ibang recourse but to seek the international courts to determine,” she said.
The senator also saw the need for a Senate investigation on the incident to prevent it from happening again in the future.
The inquiry, she said, could be conducted by the Senate committees on foreign relations, and national defense.
But the incoming 18th Congress is yet to convene on July 22.
“Yung mga chairman ng committee na ‘yon ang dapat magpatawag na ng pagdinig ukol dito kasi kung papabayaan natin na gawin nila ‘yan sa atin, hindi tayo kikibo, panay na panay nilang gagawin ‘yan,” Poe said.
“Hindi sila matatakot, eh kung umalma man lang tayo kahit kaunti, medyo sana naman, mangilag sila. Parang pamimirata na rin ang ginagawa nila,” she added.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin said he has already filed a diplomatic protest against China over the incident.
(Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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