This picture taken on April 21, 2017 shows an aerial view of reefs in the disputed Spratly islands.
Lorenzana said the foreign vessel hit the anchored Filipino boat near Recto Bank on June 9, and did not stop to help the local fishermen, whose boat sank. “This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people”. A Vietnamese boat rescued them.
It is believed the vessel that hit the anchored F/B GIMVER 1 was a Chinese fishing ship.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the suspected Chinese fishing vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew”, Lorenzana said in a statement.
“There are laws like the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea or SOLAS and Article 98 of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS that mandate vessels, especially after a collision, to render assistance to the other ship, its crew and its passengers, and where possible, to inform the other ship of the name of his own ship, its port of registry and the nearest port at which it will call”, he pointed out.
The country claims Reed Bank as part of the province of Palawan, as it is only 85 nautical miles away from Philippine shores.
The government earlier protested the swarming of Chinese vessels around Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island and Chinese fishermen’s harvesting of giant clams, locally known as taklobos, in Scarborough Shoal.
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The defense chief called for a formal investigation into the incident and requested diplomatic action against China.
Defence Secretary Teodoro Locsin Junior went further describing the actions as “contemptible and condemnable” before adding the incident would be “the basis of enhanced military cooperation between The Philippines and Vietnam”. Nu’ng tinamaan nila ‘yung FB Gimver 1 ay dire-diretso sila, hindi nila tinigilan.
The bow number of the Chinese vessel was not seen, Penetrante said. “Tsaka siguro kung talagang. sinadya nila papatayin nila ‘yung ilaw di ba, they don’t want to be identified”, he said.
He added that Wescom will conduct an inquiry.
In the past months, sightings of Chinese vessels in Philippine waters have made headlines amid rising tensions. The Philippine vessel maneuvered to avoid the Chinese ship and managed to reach the marines, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
Locsin flew to Geneva on Wednesday and was reportedly airborne when reports of the sinking of a Filipino fishing vessel in the West Philippine Sea came out.
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