Chinese militia not likely behind ramming of Filipino boat — Lorenzana
MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese vessel that sunk the Filipino fishing boat in Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea was not likely a part of maritime militia, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Wednesday.
In a press briefing, he said that the Chinese vessel had a boom with fishing net which indicated that it was used for fishing.
“Ito meron kasing boom doon na nilalagay ‘yung net parati pag fishing nila. According to experts na nakilala natin sa Philippine Navy and maritime, itong mga fishing vessel comes from Hong Kong. Ito ‘yung mga parang trawler,” he told reporters.
“So nagfi-fishing ‘yan… ‘Yung mga militia ‘di naman nagfi-fishing ‘yan,” he said.
“They are presumed to be fishermen,” he added.
Based on the sketch of the Chinese vessel made by one of the 22 rescued fishermen, experts have said that it was possibly part of the Chinese maritime militia.
The Chinese militia vessels are usually stationary and not fishing. Their main purpose is to intimidate vessels of other claimants in the South China Sea.
It is under the command of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
Last June 9, a Chinese vessel rammed and sank an anchored Filipino boat near Recto Bank and abandoned the 22 crew.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila admitted last week it was a Chinese fishing boat from Guangdong province that was involved in the Recto Bank incident. (Editor: Julie Espinosa)
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