A Chinese fishing boat abandoned 22 Filipino fishermen aboard their sinking vessel after hitting their stationary boat in the vicinity of Recto or Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea on June 9.
Wikimedia Commons/US Department of State, cartographer
Palace wants sanctions for Chinese vessel that rammed Filipino boat
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - June 13, 2019 - 10:58am

MANILA, Philippines — Echoing the remarks of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Malacañang called on Chinese authorities to investigate the collision between a Chinese fishing vessel and a Filipino fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea.

The Defense chief denounced the actions of the Chinese vessel for leaving the Filipino vessel that sank after the collision on June 9.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo called the act of desertion "inhuman as it it barbaric" and pointed out that it is a violation of maritime protocols.

"We call on the appropriate Chinese authorities to probe the collision and impose the proper sanctions to the Chinese crew," Panelo said in a statement.

The Malacañang spokesman added that the Chinese crew's abandonment of 22 Filipino fishermen at sea was an infringement of the internationally accepted practice of assisting a vessel in distress.

"Regardless of the nature of the collision, whether it was accidental or intentional, common decency and the dictates of humanity require the immediate saving of the crew of the downed Philippine vessel," Panelo said.

Leaving the Filipino crew, which were aboard an anchored and stationary vessel, was an "uncivilized" and "outrageous" behavior for the Chinese ship, Malacañang stressed.

Panelo added that the maritime dispute between the Philippines and China should not have been an impediment for the offending party to assist the distressed Filipinos.

The incident occurred in the vicinity of Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea, a part of the South China Sea within the Philippine exclusive economic zone. This area is also being considered for the possible joint oil and gas exploration between Manila and Beijing.

"The safety of the crew of the damaged Filipino vessel should have been the uppermost thought and helping them should have been the natural reaction of the crew of the other vessel," Malacañang said.

According to Panelo, concerned agencies of the Chinese government are now providing assistance to the Filipino crew after the sinking of their boat.

A Vietnamese fishing vessel which was in the area rescued the 22 Filipino fishermen and brought them to the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Western Command.

The Philippine government had expressed its gratitude to the captain and crew of the Vietnamese ship for saving the lives of the distressed Filipinos.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., meanwhile, said Vietnam's rescue of the Filipino fishermen would be the basis of enhanced military cooperation between Manila and Hanoi.


As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: June 13, 2019 - 6:15pm

The United States Navy's Nimitz-class nuclear powered supercarrier USS John C. Stennis continues underway in the South China Sea.

The US Pacific Command just reported that it has received "cargo" from support ship USNS Rainier in the disputed waters.

June 13, 2019 - 6:15pm

The Communist Party of the Philippines sees sinister motives behind a US plan to deploy the US Coast Guard Cutter Stratton in the South China Sea to help smaller nations protect their exclusive economic zones.

The CPP, which believesUS imperialism is one of the factors that has kept the Philippines poor, says the protection plan is direct military intervention by America. The US Coast Guard is the coastal defense and maritime law enforcement branch of the US Armed Forces.

RELATED: US Coast Guard to help countries struggling with EEZ protection

The communist party says the US is "capitalizing on the widespread outrage of the Filipino people over the June 9 incident near the Recto Bank where a fishing boat with Filipino crewmen sank after colliding with a Chinese fishing vessel." It says the US wants justification to send its warships and other vessels into Philippine waters.

 The US is a treaty ally of the Philippines, its former colony. — The STAR/Artemio Dumlao in Baguio City

June 13, 2019 - 5:13pm

Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano says the acts of the Chinese fishing vessel in a collision with Filipino fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea are "condemnable." 

"The actions of the Chinese indicate that they intended to do harm to the Filipino fishermen especially since the latter were allegedly anchored. It is aimed to send a message to the rest to keep off the West Philippine Sea," Alejano says in a press statement.

"The said Chinese vessel involved in the incident that happened inside the Philippines’ EEZ could be part of China's Maritime Militia organized to pursue China's objectives in South China Sea," he adds.

June 13, 2019 - 2:48pm

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, who is seen to head the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in the 18th Congress, condemns the reported abandonment by a Chinese fishing vessel of the crew of a Filipino fishing boat that sank after a collision near the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.

"No matter who was at fault, the crew of a sinking ship must never be abandoned by an able ship. The rescue of all persons in distress at sea is not only an obligation under international maritime law, it is also a matter of humanitarian duty," Pimentel says.

Citing the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, Pimentel says ships are obliged to assist other ships in distress.

"Logic dictates that such duty becomes more pronounced if it is your ship that caused the distress.  In this case, there was a total breach of that duty to help.  I urge the authorities to immediately find out the Flag State of the offending vessel so that the Philippines can file the appropriate diplomatic protest," Pimentel added.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Thursday that the Philippines has already filed a diplomatic protest with China over the incident.

June 13, 2019 - 12:28pm

The Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest against China over the collision incident in the South China Sea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. says on Twitter.

The protest was filed on Wednesday, June 12, the same day that the Department of National Defense reported that a Chinese vishing vessel sank a boat manned by 22 Filipino fishermen off Reed Bank in the heavily contested waters on June 9.

The defense agency described the incident as a "hit and run."

June 12, 2019 - 6:19pm
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