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Gordon on boat sinking: ‘Do not force the President to talk more’

/ 03:47 PM June 19, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon on Wednesday said President Rodrigo Duterte should not be forced to talk more about the alleged ramming of a Philippine fishing boat by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) as he asked other government officials to also refrain from making comments on the issue.

“Do not force the President to talk more. The President can’t be tied to a corner dahil kung iba ang lalabas sa investigation at taliwas iyon sa sinabi niya, hindi na niya mababawi,” Gordon said in a statement.

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Gordon also expressed the belief that Duterte is already making actions through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which was manifested in the submission of a diplomatic protest following the incident.

“I think the President is already talking through the DFA, hence, the diplomatic protest,” Gordon said.

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The senator also asked other government officials to refrain from making comments regarding the incident, telling them to “leave the talking to the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of National Defense (DND).”

“Cabinet officials who are not part of the negotiations should refrain from speaking or making statements about the incident. Let us leave the negotiations regarding the incident to the DFA, the DND and possibly the OSG (Office of Solicitor General),” Gordon said.

Gordon explained that if government officials are making comments without being in sync with each another, this “may only weaken the country’s position on the incident.”

The Philippine fishing boat was reportedly rammed by a Chinese vessel at Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea last June 9. Following the incident, the Chinese vessel reportedly left the scene without aiding the 22 Filipino fishermen who were in open water for hours.

A Vietnamese vessel later rescued the Filipino fishermen.  (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)

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TAGS: Duterte, Gordon, national, national news, West Philippine Sea
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