Joint PH-China probe on ramming incident at Recto Bank a possibility — Panelo
MANILA, Philippines—A joint investigation by the Philippine and Chinese governments into the reported ramming of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel near the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea is a possibility, according to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo
“I am tinkering the idea of suggesting that (to the President), joint investigation ng dalawang bansa,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing Tuesday.
Panelo, who is also President Duterte’s chief legal counsel, issued the remark after the Chief Executive dismissed the reported ramming and sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese fishing vessel near Recto Bank as a “little maritime accident.”
According to the fishermen aboard the fishing boat F/B Gem-Vir 1, they were abandoned and left floating in open sea for hours after a Chinese vessel crashed into their anchored boat. But the Chinese Embassy in Manila denied that the Chinese vessel hit and abandoned the Filipino fishing boat and its crew.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles added that a joint investigation between the two governments is “possible.”
“It’s possible. It’s one of the options,” Nograles told reporters in Malacañang.
However, the senior Palace official pointed out that the government should wait first for China’s response in the diplomatic protest the Philippines filed over the incident.
“Kaya nga po ang magiging proseso nito nanjan na po ‘yung ating diplomatic protest. Hintayin po natin kung ano ‘yung magiging reply ng China then we will work from there,” Nograles said.
“Nung nabanggit nga ni Pangulo kahapon na hinatyin yung China, it is in the context na najan po yung ating diplomatic protest and as far as diplomatic procedures and protocols are concerned we have to wait for the reply of China,” he added. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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