President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the meeting with the Filipino community at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo, Japan on May 30, 2019.
Presidential Communications/released
Firebrand Duterte keeps mum on abandonment of Pinoy fishermen
( - June 14, 2019 - 12:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is known for going off-script in his public speeches that would sometimes run for over an hour. 

After three public appearance since the news broke out, the firebrand leader has yet to issue a statement on the Chinese vessel that left 22 fishermen in the middle of nowhere after their boat sunk due to the collision.

Late Wednesday night, the Department of National Defense said a Chinese vessel had a “collision” with a Filipino fishing boat in Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea on June 9. The "collision" sunk the Filipinos' boat and left the 22 fishermen to fend for themselves.

They were later rescued by Vietnamese fishermen. It was later known that the fishermen were asleep in their anchored boat when the Chinese vessel hit them.

READ: Sinking of Philippine vessel an 'ordinary maritime accident,' China says

It has been more than a day since the DND reported the incident, and the president has had three public appearances—where he went off-script and made his trademark freestyle speeches—since then.

At ANC’s “Early Edition” on Friday, presidential spokesperson Panelo explained that Duterte is a cautious person. 

He said: “The president is a very cautious man. If you notice, he makes calibrated responses.”

On Wednesday night, hours after the DND reported the incident, Duterte spoke at the 121st Independence Day celebration in Malabang, Lanao del Sur and then later at the oath-taking of newly-elected government officials of Cagayan de Oro.

On Thursday, Duterte gave a speech at the distribution of certificates of land ownership award to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries in General Santos City.

In his latest speech, Duterte talked about his family, the New People’s Army, Boracay island rehabilitation, reason he appointed former military men to his Cabinet, his attraction to beautiful women, Kapa Ministry International Inc. alleged scam, rant against former Sen. Francisco “Kit” Tatad, effects of using Viagra, and his lashing out at Canada for dumping trash in our islands.

Duterte, in an earlier speech, also shared how he regretted running for president.

The Palace has earlier called for an investigation led by Chinese officials on the incident that happened in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs has also fired off a diplomatic protest over the incident. — Kristine Joy Patag

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