Despite apology, President Duterte wants “appropriate sanctions” vs crew of Chinese vessel in Recto Bank incident

(Eagle News)–President Rodrigo Duterte wants “appropriate sanctions” against the crewmen of the Chinese vessel that rammed a Filipino fishing boat and abandoned the Filipino fishermen in open sea.

Duterte, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, made the remark during his bilateral meeting with China President Xi Jinping even after the owner of the Chinese vessel apologized for the June 9 incident.

The apology was contained in a letter signed by Chen Shiqin, president of the Guangdong Fishery Mutual Insurance Association of which the Chinese vessel owner was a member.

A portion of the letter was translated into English by the Philippine Embassy in China, and was included in a memorandum for Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin.

“I reiterate our desire for the filing or application of appropriate sanctions against the Chinese crew in the interest of achieving closure, manifesting good faith and demonstrating China’s resort to prevent a repeat of the incident,” Panelo said, reading  President Duterte’s statement.

According to Panelo, President Duterte also took note of the fact that “the China side has recognized and confirmed the responsibility of the Chinese fishing crew” and “expressed  appreciation of China’s readiness to provide compensation to our fishermen who almost lost their lives.”

Philippine maritime authorities are conducting a probe into the incident, the preliminary results of which are already with Duterte.

The crew of the  Chinese vessel that rammed the Gem-Vir 1 had told the Chinese embassy in Manila that they refrained from helping the 22 Filipino fishermen since they were afraid they would be “besieged” by other Filipino boats in the area.

The Filipino fishermen were rescued by a Vietnamese boat.