Duterte: PH boat not rammed but ‘sideswiped’ by Chinese vessel
Updated @ 10: 12 p.m., June 26, 2019, to include more quotes
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said the Gem-Ver 1, the Filipino fishing boat that sank at the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea, was not rammed by a Chinese trawler but was sideswiped.
“As a matter of fact, halos kami [Cabinet officials] ngayon have agreed na sideswiped [ang Filipino boat]. Tapsingan ba. Hindi talaga ‘yung binuggo. Kay kung binuggo, nasa ilalim na ‘yun,” he said in a speech at the 122nd anniversary of the Presidential Security Group at Malacañang Park.
The President reiterated that the sinking of the Filipino boat was a mere “maritime accident.”
“So pumunta na diyan ‘yung mga Chinese. Ngayon, nagkabungguan. You know, pagkabunggo, ‘yang bangka to bangka, that is a mere maritime accident or incident. You do not react violently,” he said.
Duterte told reporters on Monday night that the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) have finished their own joint probe into the Chinese vessel’s ramming and sinking of a Philippine fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier said the report was already submitted to Malacañang on June 20.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo would “soon” release the result of the investigation on the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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