LOOK: Philippine fishing boat sunk by Chinese vessel in West PH Sea
MANILA, Philippines – It didn't seem much at first glance, but many families had depended on fishing boat (F/B) Gem-Ver for their livelihood for years.
Aboard were 22 men: the captain, a kitchen man, a repair man, and 19 crewmen in charge of fishing.
It’s a family boat owned by couple Felix and Fe dela Torre, residents of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.
They have been using it since 2011 to fish in the West Philippine Sea for lapu-lapu (grouper) and sniper fish.
“Bigay lang po ng pamilya ng asawa ko 'yan dahil nag-iisa po siyang anak na lalaki,” Fe told Rappler in a phone interview on Thursday, June 13. (That was just given to us by the family of my husband because he’s the only son.)
The boat, she said, was named after the star signs of her father-in-law, a Gemini, and her husband Felix, who is a Virgo. They have been relying on the fishing boat for their livelihood and for funds to build their home.
Fe said the boat had been out at sea since May 29. The crew targets a 15-day minimum stay at sea to make the most out of their supplies. But on the 12th day, June 9, the incident happened.
Since that day, the couple has been restless, worrying for the safety of their crew and the future of their expanded family, which included their fishing boat crew.
After the incident, the F/B Gem-Ver was brought to the Western Command base of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which is investigating the incident. The Dela Torres hope that the government could ensure that their crew, as well as their boat, would return to Occidental Mindoro safely.
“Kaming mga pamilya diyan lang po kami umaasa,” said Fe. (Our families only rely on that.) – Rappler.com
Read stories related to the incident:
- Chinese vessel sinks Philippine boat in West PH Sea ‘collision’
- Sinking of Filipino vessel ‘a first’ in Philippines-China row
- TIMELINE: Skirmishes, standoffs, harassment in West Philippine Sea
- Hold China accountable, Del Rosario says after sinking of PH boat
- AFP: Chinese vessel's sinking of PH boat ‘far from accidental’
- Panelo says possible for PH to cut ties with China over boat sinking
- Locsin hits ‘collision’ of Philippine, Chinese vessels
- Locsin on PH boat sinking: 'Fuck the international community'
- Philippines asks China to sanction Chinese crew of vessel in collision
- ‘Not a friend’: Netizens hit China over sinking of Philippine boat
- Owner of PH boat sunk by Chinese ship: 'I only ask for justice'
- Lorenzana now unsure if Chinese vessel sank Philippine boat
- China calls sinking of Philippine boat an 'ordinary maritime accident'
- WATCH: How alleged Chinese ship sank Filipino fishing vessel in West PH Sea
- 3 speeches in a row, Duterte silent on Chinese ship sinking PH vessel
In these changing times, courage and clarity become even more important.
Take discussions to the next level with Rappler PLUS — your platform for deeper insights, closer collaboration, and meaningful action.
Sign up today and access exclusive content, events, and workshops curated especially for those who crave clarity and collaboration in an intelligent, action-oriented community.
As an added bonus, we’re also giving a free 1-year Booky Prime membership for the next 200 subscribers.
You can also support Rappler without a PLUS membership. Help us stay free and independent by making a donation: https://www.rappler.com/crowdfunding. Every contribution counts.