Palace accepts apology of Chinese shipowner in Recto Bank incident
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang accepted on Wednesday the apology of the owner of the Chinese vessel involved in the June 10 allision with a Filipino fishing boat near the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
The owner of the Chinese trawler apologizes just hours before President Rodrigo Duterte flies to China for a four-day working visit.
In a statement, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo welcomed the “humility” of the Chinese boat owner to take responsibility of the damages the 22 Filipino fishermen incurred in the incident.
“In relation to this, we accept the recent apology extended by the owner of the Chinese vessel to our fishermen affected by the incident,” Panelo said.
“We likewise welcome the owner’s humility to take responsibility and acknowledgment that compensation must be provided to cover the actual loss,” he added.
The apology of the ship’s owner was coursed through a certain “association” and relayed to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
However, the names of the Chinese shipowner and its crew were not disclosed.
It only said that the Chinese vessel involved was registered in Guangdong province, a coastal area facing the South China Sea.
The apology came more than two months since Gem-Ver was rammed, sunk, and abandoned by a Chinese trawler in Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
Gem-Ver’s 22 fishermen were left afloat the open sea for hours and were later saved by a Vietnamese fishing vessel.
Duterte is set to fly to China on Wednesday evening for the fifth time since assuming office in 2016.
He will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan during his four-day visit to China.
The President had said that he will raise the Philippines’ 2016 arbitral victory against China, the delay in the formulation of the South China Sea code of conduct and the possible joint exploration deal in the West Philippine Sea. /je
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