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COLLISION | PH coast guard files raps vs. Hong Kong carrier over sea mishap
July 6, 2020 , 01:41 PM

(July 6, 2020) – The Philippines coast guard on Monday said charges had been filed against officials of a Hong Kong ship which collided with a Filipino fishing boat last week.

Commodore Armand Balilo, spokesman for the coast guard, said the shipping company that own MV Vienna Wood will face reckess imprudence resulting in multiple homicide as well as damage to property.

The ship collided with the Filipino fishing vessel Liberty 5 in Occidental Mindoro on June 27. Fourteen of the vessel’s crew have yet to be found.

The coast guard had later on reported that it took three hours before the M/V Vienna Wood made a distress call over the incident.

Balilo last week told the One PH program “Sa Totoo Lang” that the Philippines will have jurisdiction over the case. Members of the Chinese ship are now under the coast guard’s custody.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said over the past week that the incident had “nothing to do” with the country’s maritime dispute with Beijing in the South China Sea.

The sea mishap came more than a year after a Chinese vessel rammed a Filipino fishing boat at Recto Bank, where the Filipino crew were left floating at sea only to be rescued by Vietnamese fishermen.

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros had since warned the government against downplaying the incident.

“Our priority should be to find them, fully investigate, and not to further protect China’s interests,” she said.

President Rodrigo Duterte last year called the Recto Bank ramming as a “little maritime incident.”

Beijing’s embassy in Manila, meanwhile, said parties should “refrain from politicizing the issue and seeking narrow interests from such a humanitarian tragedy.”

The Philippines and China are locked in territorial disputes in the South China Sea, with Beijing stepping up its assertion over the past months despite the coronavirus pandemic. (Christian de Lano Deiparine/AGD)

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