Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana said that based on information gathered from the crew of Filipino vessel F/B GIMVER 1 the hitting of their boat by a Chinese fishing vessel was an accident.
“I think it’s just an accident, based on information we got from the crew. Maybe the other side did not intend to bump them. ‘Yun nga lang, iniwanan,” Secretary Lorenzana said at Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum in Malate, Manila.
It was Secretary Lorenzana who made public the June 9 Recto (Reed) Bank incident through a statement released June 12.
“A collision between a Chinese and Filipino vessel (F/B GIMVER 1) was reported by Filipino fishermen near the Recto Bank in the West Philippine on the evening of June 9, 2019. The collision sank the Filipino vessel,” Secretary Lorenzana said in the June 12 statement.
“We denounce the actions of the Chinese fishing vessel for immediately leaving the scene of the incident, abandoning the 22 Filipino crewmen to the mercy of the elements. The F/B GIMVER 1 was anchored at the time when it was hit by the Chinese fishing vessel,” he added.
Secretary Lorenzana then called for “the conduct of a formal investigation on the matter and for diplomatic steps be taken to prevent a repeat of this incident.”