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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