JUNE 13, 2019 — Malacañang called on the government of China to sanction the crew members of a Chinese vessel that abandoned a sinking Filipino fishing boat after an alleged collision in Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
“We call on the appropriate Chinese authorities to probe the collision and impose the proper sanctions to the Chinese crew,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo pointed out that regardless of nature or conflict, the Chinese vessel should have helped the distressed Filipino crew.
“The safety of the crew of the damaged Filipino vessel should have been the uppermost thought and helping them should have been the natural reaction of the crew of the other vessel,” Panelo said.
Amid the country’s 121st Independence Day anniversary, DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed that Filipino fishermen near Recto Bank brought the incident to their attention.
The 22 fishermen abandoned by the Chinese vessel were later rescued by a Vietnamese ship.
Panelo said the incident is a clear violation of maritime protocols.
“Such act of desertion is inhuman as it is barbaric. It is crystal-clear violation of maritime protocols as well as an infringement of internationally accepted practice of assisting a vessel in distress,” Panelo said.
Malacañang also assured that concerned government agencies will provide assistance to Filipino fishermen who were rescued.