Palace says China in better position to impose sanction on Recto Bank incident

/ 04:53 PM July 09, 2019
Gem-Ver 1 recto bank

The fishing boat Gem-Ver 1, which sank after it was hit on the stern on the night of June 9 by a Chinese trawler supposedly fishing at Recto (Reed) Bank, which is within the Philippines’ 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea. (Photo by RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Tuesday suggested that China is in a better position to impose sanctions on the crew of a Chinese trawler that sank F/B Gem-Ver 1 in Recto Bank and left its crew adrift in the open sea for hours.

In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo explained that it would be difficult for the Philippine government to sue the Chinese crew as they have yet to be identified a month after the incident.


Panelo said it would be easier for the Chinese government to identify the Chinese crew as they have jurisdiction over them.

“Kasi if we file a case against them, baka matagalan tayo. Kasi first, we will have to identify kung sino idedemanda natin. Eh ni hindi natin alam kung sino, puro John Does lang ang gagawin natin doon,” the Palace official said.


“Pero kung iyong Chinese government, since nasa jurisdiction nila iyong Chinese vessel; and they said they will impose sanctions for the irresponsible behavior with respect doon sa abandonment, o eh ‘di mas lalong okay,’ he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said government will wait for China’s findings on the incident before the two nations decide which one is in a “better position to assert justice.”

“We have our recommendations, we have our report. Then we will wait for China to make its report. Then we can compare notes,” Duterte told reporters in Malacañang.

“And then kung sino ‘yung within a better position to assert justice, gawain nila ‘yan. Kung sila, magbayad sila,” he added.

The President issued the statement after he reportedly received the results of the joint investigation report of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).  (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)

READ: PCG-Marina report: China vessel took no steps to avoid hitting PH boat

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