PHL probe on Reed Bank incident completed: Tugade

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Saturday confirmed that the investigation conducted by the Philippine side on the Reed Bank incident had been completed.

“The MARINA (Maritime Industry Authority) and PCG (Philippine Coast Guard) have completed the investigation,” he told reporters here.

Tugade said the result of the investigation had already been submitted to Malacañang on Thursday.

He declined to say what the investigation had found out or what the recommendations were.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte accepted the offer of the Chinese government for a joint investigation on the Recto Bank incident on June 9, in which a Filipino fishing boat sank after being hit by a Chinese vessel.

In a statement, Panelo said the President wanted to know what really transpired to “find a satisfactory closure to this episode.”

It was not clear, however, if Malacañang had already received a formal communication from Beijing on the joint probe offer.

“The basic dictates of justice demand a full account of the events that ultimately led to the abandonment of our 22 distressed fishermen in the middle of the sea and accountability of those at fault,” he added.

Panelo said President Duterte wanted the creation of a joint committee that would investigate the incident. PNA