China takes down statement on Facebook about PH sinking boat
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Where is the other version of the boat sinking story in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea)?
At around 9:20 pm on Friday, June 14, the Chinese embassy in Manila posted on Facebook its statement on the sinking of a Philippine boat near Recto Bank (Reed Bank), an oil-rich underwater reef formation that belongs to the Philippines but is coveted by China. (READ: Recto Bank: Why China covets what belongs to the Philippines)
In this statement, China admitted a Chinese vessel was involved, but claimed that the vessel was "besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats," preventing it from rescuing the Filipino fishermen from their sunken vessel. The captain of the Filipino boat Gem-Ver, in an interview with Rappler, promptly denied China's claim.
Hours after posting this statement, however, the statement was gone from Facebook. It was unclear if the statement was deleted or temporarily hidden.
The Chinese embassy posted this statement again on Facebook at around 11:44 am on Saturday, June 15.
The removal of the statement drew flak from Filipinos on social media, fueling speculations that China was taking back its claim.
Still, the statement remains on another platform. The Chinese embassy, at 10:10 pm on Friday, sent the same statement to reporters through email.
Here is the full, unedited text of the Chinese embassy's statement:
Press Release on the so-called collision of fishing boats
between China and the Philippines
China's preliminary investigation shows: at 2400 hours on June 9, 2019, "Yuemaobinyu 42212," a Chinese fishing boat from Guangdong Province, China, engaged in a light purse seine operation, was berthed at the vicinity of Liyue Tan (Reed Bank) (116 ° 40 'E, 11 ° 35' N) of the Nansha Qundao. It was suddenly besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats. During evacuation, 42212 failed to shun a Filipino fishing boat, and its steel cable on the lighting grid of larboard bumped into the Filipino pilothouse. The Filipino fishing boat tilted and its stern foundered.
The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen, but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats. Therefore, having confirmed the fishermen from the Filipino boat were rescued on board of other Filipino fishing boats, 42212 sailed away from the scene. The above shows that there is no such thing as "hit-and-run."
The Chinese side attaches great importance to China-Philippines friendship and safety of life at sea, and will continue to properly handle this issue with the Philippines in a serious and responsible manner. The two sides are maintaining close communication through diplomatic channels.
Below, watch the response of the captain of the Philippine boat, Junel Insigne, refuting China's claim.
"Kami-kami lang ang nandoon. Kami-kami lang. Wala namang ibang bangka doon. Kami lang doon. Kami lang dahil noong gabing 'yun lumubog nga kami, kami pa ang aatake?" Insigne told Rappler in Occidental Mindoro.
On Twitter, opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan also blasted China's version of the story: "Their version of events is as fake as their territorial claims." – 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
- LOOK: Philippine fishing boat sunk by Chinese vessel in West PH Sea
- ‘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
- China envoy vows probe into Philippine boat sinking
- WATCH: Crew of Philippine vessel rammed by Chinese ship on their way home
- Occidental Mindoro town mayor to Duterte: Let's speak out against China
- Navy rebuffs China: PH boat sinking ‘not normal accident’
- Lacson, De Lima call for punitive action vs China and its fishermen
- Wives wait in limbo for fishermen of sunken vessel to come home
- Captain of abandoned PH boat: I'm sure Chinese ship sank us
- Recto Bank: Why China covets what belongs to the Philippines
- Crew of sunken Philippine boat now home
- Arroyo defends Duterte response to Philippine boat sinking
- INSIDE STORY: How Filipino crew were saved by Vietnamese in West PH Sea
- China claims ship 'besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino boats'
- U.S. hits intimidation at sea after Philippine boat sinking
- Captain of abandoned PH boat: 'Lumubog nga kami, kami pa ang aatake?'
- Demand compensation from China for PH boat sinking – Carpio
- Boat sunk by Chinese ship in West PH Sea now back home