Palace to summon Chinese envoy over boat sinking
Updated @ 11:35 p.m., to add quotes
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang will summon Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua to the Palace over the sinking of a Filipino boat at Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea, INQUIRER.net learned Monday afternoon.
The Security, Justice and Peace Cabinet Cluster and Economic Development Cabinet Cluster convened for roughly 3 hours Monday to discuss the incident.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza confirmed to reporters after the 121st Philippine Navy Anniversary at Sangley Point in Cavite that Zhao was called to Malacañang to explain the incident.
“That’s the result of the meeting today. We are inviting him to talk about their version of their incident. Because right now what we’re getting is unofficial (investigation). There will be an official investigation,” Lorenzana said.
In a statement released late Monday night, Panelo said the invitation was not yet final.
“A Cabinet member suggested that the Chinese be invited, not summon, for a discussion on the collision. The suggestion was not adopted by the cluster Cabinet,” he said.
“We shall await the final findings of both governments and agree on how to go about resolving the issue,” he added.
Last June 9, a Chinese vessel reportedly rammed and eventually sunk an anchored Filipino boat at Recto Bank, and left all 22 fishermen in the open sea.
After days of silence, President Rodrigo Duterte finally broke his silence on Monday, at the 121st anniversary of the Philippine Navy, and called the incident “a little maritime accident.”
(Editors: Katherine G. Adraneda and Alexander T. Magno)
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