Fishermen being reunited with their families at the San Jose port in Occidental Mindoro yesterday.
Walter Bollozos
Embassy: It was Chinese ship, but no hit and run
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - June 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Yes, it was a Chinese vessel that hit a Philippine fishing boat that sank at Recto Bank on June 9, the Chinese embassy confirmed last night. 

But in a statement, the embassy denied that it was a case of “hit and run,” contrading a statement of the Department of National Defense that the Filipino fishermen were left at the “mercy of the elements.”

The embassy claimed that the fishermen were rescued by other Filipinos in the area, contrary to earlier reports that Vietnamese fishermen passing through had rescued the Filipinos. 

“Yuemaobinyu 42212, a Chinese fishing boat from Guangdong Province, China, engaged in a light purse seine operation, was berthed at the vicinity of Liyue Tan (Reed Bank),” the embassy said, referring to Recto Bank. 

“It was suddenly besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats. During evacuation, 42212 failed to shun a Filipino fishing boat, and its steel cable on the lighting grid of the larvoard bumped into the Filipino pilothouse. The fishing boat tilted and its stern foundered,” it added. 

The embassy said the captain of the Chinese vessel tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats. 

“Therefore, having confirmed the fishermen from the Filipino boat were rescued and on board of othe Filipino fishing boats, 42212 sailed away from the scene,” read the statement. 

The embassy said it attaches great importance to China-Philippine relations and that it will continue to properly handle the issue. 

“The two sides are maintaining close communication through diplomatic channels,” it added. 

The UN-backed Permanent Arbitration Court in The Hague has awarded the Philippines sovereign rights over Recto Bank.

CHINESE VESSEL PHILIPPINE FISHING BOAT
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