A leaked report from the Philippine Coast Guard and the Maritime Industry Authority classified the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel near Recto Bank in the West Philippine as a "very serious marine casualty" due to the total loss of F/B GemVer 1.
The STAR/Walter Bollozos
Palace: No contradiction in Duterte's remarks, Coast Guard report
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - July 8, 2019 - 4:32pm

MANILA, Philippines — For Malacañang, there is no contradiction between President Rodrigo Duterte's remarks on the Recto Bank collision and the report of the Philippine Coast Guard and the Maritime Industry Authority into the incident.

The president had dubbed the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat as a "little maritime accident" while the PCG-Marina report classified the allision as a "very serious marine casualty."

The PCG-Marina report was based on the Code of the International Standards and Recommended Practices for Safety Investigation into a Marine Casulaty or Marine Incident.

"There is no contradiction insofar as the incident is concerned given the fact that Filipinos were placed in a dangerous situation where they could have been dead," presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

The incident, however, should not have been blown into an "international crisis," according to Malacañang.

"That's serious enough but when the president says it's not that serious enough to blow it into [an] international crisis then it is what he meant. Both of them are correct," Panelo said.

Asked if the result of the investigation into the Recto Bank incident would be made public, Panelo said he would leave the decision to Duterte and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

Citing Locsin, Panelo said the Philippine government has yet to compare the findings of the investigation before issuing a joint statement with China.

The top diplomat earlier said he would compare the leaked PCG-Marina report with the copy he received from the Department of Transportation.

"There is a leaked alleged Coast Guard Marina report. Until I compare it with my copy fresh from DOTr’s hand 4 weeks ago that is not official. We do not share leakages," Locsin said on Twitter.

Locsin added that Beijing would have its own independent report into the incident.

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