Senator seeks inquiry on death of fishermen

Mark Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
Senator seeks inquiry on death of fishermen
Handout from the Philippine Coast Guard shows survivors of the maritime incident transporting the deceased victims to Infanta town in Pangasinan.
Philippine Coast Guard

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Tolentino said he will seek a Senate probe into the deaths of the three Filipino fishermen off the coast of Agno, Pangasinan on Oct. 2.

Tolentino on Friday visited the grieving families of Dexter Laudencia, Romeo Mejico and Benedicto Olandria, who were killed after their boat Dearyn was rammed by a foreign commercial vessel.

The senator said he is waiting for the results of the investigation for more details on the crude oil tanker – initially identified as Pacific Anna registered under the Marshall Islands flag – that rammed the Filipino fishing boat.

Meanwhile, he said the Senate needs to investigate the incident in relation to bills being deliberated delineating the country’s “archipelagic sea lanes.”

Laying down a definite sea lane will prevent similar maritime accidents, he added.

“The objective here is to configure the archipelagic sea lanes. This would mean the definite lane – here, the domestic, foreign ships and international vessels, which are big, would pass so that our fishermen know where to pass and avoid each other,” Tolentino said.

The collision was considered an accident, with authorities saying the foreign vessel may not have noticed the Filipino fishing boat due to the dark and inclement weather, according to the Philippine Coast Guard.

The incident also occurred in the portion of the sea where huge commercial ships pass through.

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