Local fishermen pull F/B GemVer 1 to the shores of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro after being rammed by a Chinese vessel near Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
The STAR/Walter Bollozos
Duterte wants discussion on Recto Bank incident in next meetings with China
(Philstar.com) - July 2, 2019 - 11:14am

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte told his Cabinet members that he wants to bring up the collision of a Filipino fishing boat and a Chinese trawler in the West Philippine Sea in bilateral meetings with Beijing.

Last month, a Chinese vessel rammed into a Filipino fishing boat near Recto Bank, causing the latter to sink and leaving 22 local fishermen "to the mercy of the elements."

"The president wanted China's assurance that the rights and safety of our fisherfolks are guaranteed," presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement Tuesday.

The crewmen of the Filipino watercraft said the Chinese ship immediately left the scene after the collision.

The captain of the Chinese ship, meanwhile, claimed that they tried to help the Filipino fishermen but were besieged by other Filipino boats.

China rejected the proposal for a third party investigatot into the incident, which President Rodrigo Duterte called a "little maritime accident."

"Well, I'm sorry, but that's how it is. It is a maritime incident, little in a sense that there was no confrontation, there was no bloody violence," Duterte earlier said.

According to Panelo, Chinese authorities told Philippine Ambassador to Beijing Chito Sto. Romana that there was no need for a third party as the two countries can settle the issue. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

CHINA PHILIPPINES-CHINA TIES RECTO BANK RODRIGO DUTERTE SOUTH CHINA SEA WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
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