MANILA Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday called for an investigation into the reported Chinese vessel's collision and sinking of a Filipino fishing boat near Recto Ban on the night of June 9, leaving the 22 crew floundering in the water.
"We call for the conduct of a formal investigation on the matter and for diplomatic steps be taken to prevent a repeat of this incident," Lorenzana said in a statement as he denounced the actions of the crew of the Chinese vessel.
The F/B Gimver1 was anchored at the time when it was hit by the Chinese fishing vessel.
No other details were immediately available regarding the circumstances surrounding the collision.
In a phone interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), Arsenio Andolong, DND spokesperson, said the rescued Filipino fishermen were the ones who claimed that it was the Chinese boat that hit and sank their fishing vessel.
Lorenzana said a Vietnamese fishing vessel, which was in the vicinity, rescued all 22 fishermen and brought them to safety in coordination with the military's Western Command.
He said the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), which was conducting routine maritime patrol in the area was ordered to assist in the salvage of the stricken Filipino fishing vessel and its crew.
"We thank the captain and crew of Vietnamese vessel, for saving the lives of the 22 Filipino crew. However, we condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the Chinese fishing vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew. This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people," he said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency