If there were seven to eight Filipino fishing boats besieging the Chinese fishing vessel, Hontiveros asked why it was a Vietnamese fishing boat that rescued all the 22 Filipinos, as the Philippine military reported.
The foreign affairs chief said he has ordered the Philippine Embassy in London to appeal to the UK-based International Maritime Organization. Both the Philippines and China are member states of the IMO.
This was the response of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.to China's statement that it did not abandon 22 Filipino fishermen after sinking their ship near Reed Bank last Sunday. Philippine officials strongly condemned the reported Chinese action. "I authorized London PE to appeal to IMO in London", Locsin said in a tweet on Saturday.
"It is also our moral obligation to save a human life whenever and wherever we can do so", Mangalile added.
China has acknowledged its fishing vessel hit a Filipino boat in the disputed South China Sea in an incident that prompted an outcry in the Philippines but denies the collision was intentional.
The embassy said the Chinese boat tried to avoid the Filipino fishing boat during its "evacuation" but its "steel cable on the lighting grid or larboard bumped into the Filipino pilothouse". It said the Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipinos but was afraid of being besieged by other boats.
"China is free to do the same".
Reacting to a statement by Geng Shuang, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, accusing the Philippines of making a mountain out of a molehill and giving poltiical color to the incident, Colmenares said: "We are not politicizing the incident, we are asking for accountability, which China is not prepared to give".
The Western Command Spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Penetrante, stated that the AFP had determined that incident in the South China Sea was "far from accidental", reports Rappler. Hontiveros renewed her call for Duterte to downgrade diplomatic relations with China by recalling the Philippine ambassador in Beijing to strengthen Manila's effort to seek justice and defend its sovereignty.