MANILA China and the Philippines will conduct separate investigations to determine the facts behind the recent incident involving a Chinese and a Filipino vessels near Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Friday.
"There will be no joint investigation. China and Philippines will conduct their respective investigations," Locsin said on his official Twitter account.
The statement comes after the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday proposed "a joint investigation at an early date" to enable an exchange of initial findings between the two sides.
When asked about Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra's statement that both sides have indicated willingness to conduct a joint inquiry, Locsin reiterated his view on the proposal.
"DFA will act on my view and no one else's. I talked to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea; Palace supports me," he said.
"That's that. Also, I listen only to the DND and the NSA. This is a matter beyond civilian agencies' remit and falls well within the DFA's, DND's and NSA's," he said referring to the Department of National Defense and the National Security Advisor.
On June 9, the Filipino fishing boat Gem-Ver1 sank after a Chinese boat hit it, leaving the Filipino boat's 22 crew members floundering in the water for several hours until they were rescued by a Vietnamese fishing boat. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency