JUNE 12, 2019 — An anchored Filipino fishing boat sank in the West Philippine Sea after colliding with a suspected Chinese fishing vessel last Sunday, the Department of National Defense (DND) reports.
As the country celebrates its 121st Independence Day anniversary, DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed that Filipino fishermen near Recto Bank brought the incident to their attention.
According to Lorenzana’s statement, the Chinese vessel immediately left the scene of the incident, abandoning the 22 Filipino crew aboard the sinking boat.
“[W]e condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the suspected Chinese vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew. This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people,” said Lorenzana.
The Filipino crew was later rescued by a Vietnamese fishing vessel which happened to be within the vicinity.
Lorenzana extended his gratitude to the captain and crew of the Vietnamese vessel that brought the Filipino crew to safety.
“We call for the conduct of a formal investigation on the matter and for the diplomatic steps to be taken to prevent a repeat of this incident,” Lorenzana said.