Palace wants sanctions for Chinese vessel that rammed Filipino boat

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Palace wants sanctions for Chinese vessel that rammed Filipino boat

Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) – June 13, 2019 – 10:58am

MANILA, Philippines — Echoing the remarks of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Malacañang called on Chinese authorities to investigate the collision between a Chinese fishing vessel and a Filipino fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea.

The Defense chief denounced the actions of the Chinese vessel for leaving the Filipino vessel that sank after the collision on June 9.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo called the act of desertion “inhuman as it it barbaric” and pointed out that it is a violation of maritime protocols.

“We call on the appropriate Chinese authorities to probe the collision and impose the proper sanctions to the Chinese crew,” Panelo said in a statement.

The Malacañang spokesman added that the Chinese crew’s abandonment of 22 Filipino fishermen at sea was an infringement of the internationally accepted practice of assisting a vessel in distress.

“Regardless of the nature of the collision, whether it was accidental or intentional, common decency and the dictates of humanity require the immediate saving of the crew of the downed Philippine vessel,” Panelo said.

Leaving the Filipino crew, which were aboard an anchored and stationary vessel, was an “uncivilized” and “outrageous” behavior for the Chinese ship, Malacañang stressed.

Panelo added that the maritime dispute between the Philippines and China should not have been an impediment for the offending party to assist the distressed Filipinos.

The incident occurred in the vicinity of Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea, a part of the South China Sea within the Philippine exclusive economic zone. This area is also being considered for the possible joint oil and gas exploration between Manila and Beijing.

“The safety of the crew of the damaged Filipino vessel should have been the uppermost thought and helping them should have been the natural reaction of the crew of the other vessel,” Malacañang said.

According to Panelo, concerned agencies of the Chinese government are now providing assistance to the Filipino crew after the sinking of their boat.

A Vietnamese fishing vessel which was in the area rescued the 22 Filipino fishermen and brought them to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Command.

The Philippine government had expressed its gratitude to the captain and crew of the Vietnamese ship for saving the lives of the distressed Filipinos.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., meanwhile, said Vietnam’s rescue of the Filipino fishermen would be the basis of enhanced military cooperation between Manila and Hanoi.

“I TAKE MY CUE FROM DEFENSE SEC LORENZANA. WHAT IS CONTEMPTIBLE AND CONDEMNABLE IS THE ABANDONMENT OF THE CREW TO THE ELEMENTS,” Locsin tweeted Wednesday night.