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Villanueva: Gov’t in ‘state of confusion’ over Recto Bank incident

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 03:56 PM June 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Was it a collision, allision, or maritime incident?

Senator Joel Villanueva said even the government seems to be in a “state of confusion” to describe the recent incident at Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.

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At first, he said, some Cabinet members described the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat by a Chinese vessel as a collision.

A few hours after, he said, the official line became “allision” and was later on called a “maritime incident.”

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“One thing is clear to our minds. It seems that in this particular case, even the government is in a state of confusion,” Villanueva said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Lest we quibble with words and terms to muddle the issue further, we appeal for clarity among our officials,” he said.

The senator noted that 22 Filipinos were left for dead at Recto Bank, which is in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone, when their fishing boat was hit by the Chinese vessel.

Villanueva then joined calls to have the Chinese crew face the appropriate charges before a Philippine court.

“That crew, which we believe should not be in our waters in the first place, must be brought here in the Philippines to be held to account and make amends,” he said.

“How many more fishermen should be put in harm’s way before we get our acts together?

“Tuwing pumapalaot sila, tinataya nila ang kanilang kaligtasan upang magkaroon ng disentente hanapbuhay. Huwag po sana natin maliitin ang kanilang masalimuot na karanasan,” Villanueva said. (Editor: Julie Espinosa)

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TAGS: China, conflicts, Diplomacy, dispute, foreign relations, Maritime, Philippines, Recto Bank, Senate, Senator Joel Villanueva, West Philippine Sea
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