Latin America

AFP: Chinese vessel’s sinking of PH boat ‘far from accidental’

Rambo Talabong
'Kung titingnan n'yo po sa incident report, may intentionality e, kasi hindi tumigil,' says AFP Western Command Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Penetrante

'INTENTIONALITY.' The Armed Forces of the Philippines sees intention in a Chinese fishing vessel ramming into a Filipino fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday, June 12, said the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat by a Chinese fishing vessel was “far from accidental.” 

“According to our report, it’s far from accidental kasi kung accidental po ito, the SOP should be they should stop ‘di po ba? And then they should rescue, rescue these fishermen natin ano po. E nung tinamaan nila ‘yung F/B Gem-vir 1 ay ano po sila, dire-diretso, hindi nila tinigilan,” AFP Western Command Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Penetrante said in a phone interview.

(If it was accidental, the SOP is that they should’ve stopped, right? And they should have rescued our fishermen. But after they hit the F/B Gem-Ver 1, they just kept on going, they did not stop.)

The Department of National Defense (DND) on Wednesday announced that a Chinese fishing vessel sank an anchored Philippine fishing boat with 22 Filipino crewmen near Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea, then left the scene. (READ: Chinese vessel sinks Philippine boat in West PH Sea ‘collision’)

Penetrante said Filipinos were then rescued by a Vietnamese boat that came within minutes.

He added: “Kung titingnan n’yo po sa incident report, may intentionality e, kasi hindi tumigil na po (If you look at the incident report, there’s intentionality, because it didn’t stop.)

According to Penetrante, the Western Command will conduct an inquiry to pin down the details of the collision for possible filing of a diplomatic complaint. (READ: Sinking of Filipino vessel a ‘first’ in Philippines-China row)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier called for diplomatic action against China after the incident. Hours later, Foreign Secretary Tedoro Locsin Jr said he will “take cue” from Lorenzana’s call.

The announcement of the collision coincided with the Philippines’ 121st celebration of Independence Day. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.