MANILA The recent Reed Bank incident is between two private groups and will be resolved with the support of the respective governments of the Philippines and China, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said Friday.
Responding to questions on whether the Reed Bank incident should be discussed in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Bangkok, Lopez answered it is unlikely.
"Kasi hindi involved 'yung government sa aksidente eh. Dalawang boats ng private fishermen (Because the government is not involved in the accident. It's two boats of private fishermen)," he said.
"Dalawang pribadong sektor yun eh (It's two private sectors). Dalawang (two) fishermen group yun eh. Kung ako ang tatanungin, hindi ko siya mali-link sa government (For me, I can't link it to government). Hindi naman siya Navy ship na bumangga sa fishermen natin (It's not their navy ship which hit our fishermen)," he added.
Lopez called on the public to remain calm as investigations on the incident are still ongoing.
"Huwag natin i-involve ang mga government at tingnan talaga kung ano yung nangyari (Let us not involve our governments and let us see what really happened)," he said.
About midnight of June 9, a Chinese vessel hit and abandoned an anchored Filipino fishing boat with 22 fishermen on board near the Recto Bank in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila denied the abandonment, saying the Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats." (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency