DOJ bats for joint probe with China on Recto Bank ‘hit-and-run’ incident
MANILA, Philippines–Legal action against China is not yet contemplated at this time as a thorough investigation still needs to be conducted with China on the alleged ramming incident near the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea that almost killed 22 Filipino fishermen, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Thursday.
Guevara, during Monday’s Cabinet cluster meeting, proposed that a joint inquiry with China be conducted on the incident.
Guevarra said the Cabinet has agreed to the proposal to be able to “establish the true facts, allocate responsibility for restitution, and adopt measures to prevent or avoid similar incidents in the future.”
“Kung may disagreement as to the factual findings, a referral to a neutral third party may be considered,” he added.
He said the Department of Justice (DOJ) will wait for the result of the full marine inquiry before determining the next action to take.
“Resort to legal action, although available, is not yet contemplated at this time,” he added.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he filed a diplomatic protest against the abandonment of the Chinese vessel of the 22 Filipino fishermen who spent hours in open water after their fishing boat Gem-Vir 1 sank after the incident.
A Vietnamese vessel later rescued the Filipinos. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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