DTI chief: No need to raise sinking of PH boat in WPS at Asean summit
BANGKOK — For Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, the incident at Recto (Reed) Bank in the West Philippine Sea where a Chinese vessel rammed and sank a Filipino fishing boat need not be discussed at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit.
Lopez, who is part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s delegation to the 34th Asean Summit being hosted by Thailand, believes the incident was a matter between two private entities.
“Offhand, kung ako tatanuning mo, baka hindi, kasi hindi involved ‘yung government sa aksidente. Dalawang boats ng private fishermen (Offhand, if you will ask me, maybe it should not be discussed because the government was not involved in the accident. It was two boats of private fishermen),” Lopez told reporters here when asked if the issue should be brought up in the meeting of the regional bloc’s leaders.
No Navy ship was involved, he noted.
Besides, he said, the full story has yet to be known and added that the matter has to be investigated.
Lopez called for caution in responding to the incident.
“Kaya siguro mahinanon lang tayo dapat dito. Wag natin i-involve ang mga government at tingnan talaga ano nangyari (We should be calm about this. Let us not involve governments and let us look at what really happened),” he said.
The Recto Bank incident drew outrage among Filipinos after it was learned that the Chinese vessel left the distressed Filipino fishermen at sea. They were later rescued by Vietnamese fishermen. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.