PCG to confirm if fishing vessel in Reed Bank collision indeed Chinese

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is waiting for the Filipino fishermen to confirm the nationality of crew members of vessel that caused the sinking of their vessel near Recto Bank in West Philippine Sea on June 9.

“Hinihintay namin yung mga fishermen makabalik para makausap namin. Papano mo sabihin na Chinese ‘di ba?”  PCG spokesman Captain Armand Balilo told reporters. “Tsinicheck pa namin, ‘yung report pero meron naman nagsabi na Vietnamese, so tsinicheck namin lahat ng mga barkong dumaan ‘dun sa time na binigay.”

National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement that “a collision between a Chinese and Filipino vessel (FB Gimber1) 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.” 

“We denounce the actions of the Chinese fishing vessel for immediately leaving the incident scene abandoning the 22 Filipino crewmen to the mercy of the elements,” Secretary Lorenzana added.

He said that a Vietnamese fishing vessel helped the distressed Filipino fishermen. “We thank the captain and crew of Vietnamese vessel, for saving the lives of the 22 Filipino crew,” he said.

“We call for the conduct of a formal investigation on the matter and for diplomatic steps be taken to prevent a repeat of this incident,” Lorenzana added.