Recto Bank ‘mishap:’ Duterte remark disappoints Filipino skipper
MANILA, Philippines — The captain of a Philippine fishing boat that was reportedly rammed and abandoned by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea said on Tuesday that he was saddened by the remark of President Rodrigo Duterte who stated that the incident was only a “little maritime accident.”
In a speech on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte finally spoke up about the issue, saying that politicians are just making the situation worse.
Captain Junel Insigne, who was manning the F/B Gem-Vir 1 when the incident transpired in the West Philippine Sea, said the President’s remark seems to show that the incident was just “nothing.”
“Doon nga po ako nalulungkot eh, kasi po parang balewala lang po ‘yung pagbangga sa amin [That what saddens me, because it seems that the incident–where we were rammed–is just nothing],” Insigne said in a televised interview with ABS CBN News Channel when asked if the fishermen fears the President’s remark will affect the ongoing investigation on the incident.
Insigne reiterated that their vessel was anchored when it was rammed and sank by the Chinese vessel.
“Naka-anchor po ‘yung bangka namin tapos sadya pong binangga [Our boat was anchored when we were intentionally rammed],” he said.
Insigne was set to meet with the President on Monday at Malacañang but he opted to back out.
Should the meeting push through with Duterte, Insigne said he would ask the President to hold accountable those responsible behind the ramming incident and he would ask for assistance for him and his fellow fishermen.
“Sabihin ko sana sa kanya na panagutin po ‘yung bumangga po sa amin at saka hihingi po sana ako ng tulong sa pagapagawa ng bangka at saka yung mga tao po namin,” the fishing boat captain said.
(I was about to ask him to hold accountable those people behind the ramming incident and also to request for assistance for the repair of our boat and assistance to our people.) (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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