Philippines blasts 'cowardly Chinese boat' over sinking

Senator Francis Escudero Escudero Official Facebook page  MANILA BULLETIN

Senator Francis Escudero Escudero Official Facebook page MANILA BULLETIN

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier reported that a collision between the two vessels near Recto Bank on June 9 resulted in the sinking of the Filipino fishing boat.

Lorenzana himself called the Chinese seafearer's actions as something not expected from "a responsible and friendly people".

The area is seen as a potential flash point and tensions have risen in recent years because of China's building there of artificial islands and installation of weapons that could be used to intimidate other claimant countries.

Malacañang on Thursday called on the Chinese government to investigate the Chinese crew for abandoning the 22 Filipino fishermen.

Gordon took offense at the Chinese crew's actions, especially since the Philippine fishing boat sank after a "collision" with the Chinese vessel. The Philippine coast guard says it is checking whether Chinese fishermen were involved or those from other neighboring countries and if the collision was intentional.

"We thank the captain and crew of Vietnamese vessel, for saving the lives of the 22 Filipino crew".

This comes a day after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced and condemned the Chinese fishing vessel's "cowardly action".

He revealed the incident after about 300 protesters burned a mock Chinese flag and yelled anti-China slogans in a rally outside the Chinese Consulate in Manila's Makati financial district.

"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", Lorenzana said.

The Philippine military had said it monitored more than 600 Chinese ships near Pag-asa Island since January of this year. Though details remain unclear, the incident and its fallout threatened to rock relations between China and the Philippines despite warming ties that had been underway initially under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The Philippines has raised its concern over the incident, the official added.

Locsin flew to Geneva on Wednesday and was reportedly airborne when reports of the sinking of a Filipino fishing vessel in the West Philippine Sea came out.

Chinese authorities, however, still occasionally approach Philippine resupply vessels to make sure they're not carrying construction materials to the disputed shoal, the Philippine official said.

Gordon also noted that the Chinese vessel violated several laws which require vessels to help the other ship in case of a collision - something which he hopes every seafarer around the world would honor and understand.

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