Chinese shipowner apology on Recto Bank allision ’not enough’ — Bayan
— DFA Philippines (@DFAPHL) August 28, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — The apology of the Chinese shipowner involved in the Recto Bank allision is not enough.
This was the pronouncement of group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) on Wednesday, noting that the apology failed to mention the “glaring issue” which was the abandonment at sea of the 22 Filipino fishermen aboard the sinking Filipino vessel.
The Filipino fishermen were floating at sea for hours before they were rescued by a crew in a Vietnamese vessel.
“While the Chinese shipowner apologized for the accidental and unintentional collision of the Chinese and Filipino ships near Recto Bank last June, there is no mention of abandoning the Filipino fishermen in the waters,” Bayan said in a statement.
“There is no apology for not extending help. Why so? Why ignore this glaring issue?” the group added.
The group also called for a commitment from the part of the Chinese shipowner to pay for the damages the incident brought to the Filipino fishermen.
“The process of compensation should not be complicated,” the group said.
Further, the group said that Chinese fishing vessels should stop its operations in areas “reserved for Filipinos” to avoid such incidents from happening again.
“This incident should not be repeated. The only way of ensuring this is for China to stop encroaching on our Exclusive Economic Zone. China should get out of Recto Bank and stop fishing activities in areas reserved for Filipinos,” Bayan said.
“They are depleting resources reserved for Filipinos and violating our sovereign rights. This issue needs to be raised in the meeting between Duterte and Xi this week,” it added.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier shared a letter from a certain “Association” on Twitter, saying the unnamed owner of the Chinese vessel “would like to express his sincere apology” for the “accident.”
“The shipowner of the Chinese fishing boat involved, through our Association, would like to express his sincere apology to the Filipino fishermen,” the letter read, explaining that the shipowner is a member of their association.
“Our Association will urge the shipowner of the fishing boat involved to actively coordinate with the Philippine side to expedite the latter’s claim for compensation according to the procedures for insurance claims,” it added./ac
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