By GMANews, June 13 2019

Image Credit to Philippine Star

Malacañang on Wednesday called for an investigation into the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat following a collision with Chinese vessel off Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea and the imposition of sanctions against the Chinese crew.

“We call on the appropriate Chinese authorities to probe the collision and impose the proper sanctions to the Chinese crew,” said presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

He added that appropriate government agencies have already extended assistance to the 22 Filipino crew on board FB Gimber 1, who were rescued at sea by a Vietnamese vessel.

“The act of abandonment, by those sailing the Chinese fishing vessel of twenty-two Filipino fishermen aboard their anchored and stationary watercraft hit by them is uncivilized as it is outrageous,” said Panelo.

“Regardless of the nature of the collision, whether it was accidental or intentional, common decency and the dictates of humanity require the dictates of humanity require the immediate saving of the crew of the downed Philippine vessel.”

Panelo underscored that ensuring the safety of the crew of the damaged Philippine vessel and extending assistance should have been a natural reaction of the Chinese crew.

“The present territorial conflict between the countries of the two colliding vessels pertaining to the area where the collision occurred, is not – and can not be an impediment for the offending vessel to lend a hand to the distressed crew,” he said.

“The Captain and the crew of the Chinese vessel should not have left the injured party without any assistance or succor. Such as of desertion is inhuman as it is barbaric. It is a crystal-clear violation of maritime protocols as well as an infringement of internationally accepted practice of assisting a vessel in distress,” Panelo added.

Panelo also thanked the crew of the Vietnamese vessel who assisted the Filipino crew after the incident. — BAP/KBK, GMA News