Panelo: Duterte asked sanctions vs Chinese crew
BEIJING—President Duterte had told Chinese President Xi Jinping that he wanted “sanctions” against the crew of the Chinese trawler involved in the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat in June, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing here.
“I reiterate our desire for the filing of appropriate sanctions against the Chinese crew in the interest of achieving closure, manifesting good faith and demonstrating Chinese (efforts) to prevent a repeat of the incident,” Panelo quoted Mr. Duterte as saying during his hourlong bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart as part of the President’s five-day official visit to China.
Panelo said Mr. Duterte also assured the Filipino fishermen of the government’s assistance should they decide to pursue cases against the Chinese crew.
In the Senate, opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros called on Mr. Duterte to pursue criminal liabilities against the owner of the Chinese vessel, and said he should press China to “adopt the Chinese fishing group’s statement as its official state apology, (while) removing the part where it claimed Recto Bank (as) part of China’s territory.”
Sen. Richard Gordon noted that the apology did not acknowledge the Chinese crew’s abandonment of the Filipinos at sea, a criminal act, he said.—WITH A REPORT FROM JULIE M. AURELIO
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