Lorenzana calls for probe after Filipino vessel collides with Chinese vessel near Recto Bank, sinks

Chinese vessel abandoned Filipino vessel crewmen, he says

(Eagle News)–Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana called for a probe into what he said was a collision between  a Filipino vessel and a Chinese vessel near Recto Bank that led to the sinking of the former.

Lorenzana also called for diplomatic steps, as he denounced what he said was the abandonment of the 22 Filipino crew members of the F/B GIMVER 1, which he said was anchored at the time when it was hit by the Chinese fishing vessel on June 9.

“Fortunately, a Vietnamese fishing vessel was in the vicinity and rescued all 22 fishermen and brought them to safety in coordination with the AFP’s Western Command,” he said, thanking the captain and crew of the Vietnamese vessel.

He said the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, which was conducting a routine maritime patrol in the area, was ordered to assist in the recovery of F/B GIMVER 1 and its crew.

“We denounce the actions of the Chinese fishing vessel for immediately leaving the scene of the incident, abandoning the 22 Filipino crewmen to the mercy of the elements,” he said.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the suspected Chinese fishing vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew. This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people,” he added.