(Eagle News)–The owner of the Chinese vessel that hit a Filipino fishing boat in Recto Bank in June has apologized.
The apology was contained in a letter translated by the Philippine Embassy in China, a portion of which was included in an Aug. 28 memorandum to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin.
“The shipowner of the Chinese fishing boat involved, through our association, would like to express his sincere apology to the Filipino fishermen,” the English translation of the letter said.
The letter, based on the translation, also urged the Philippines to file a “specific appeal for civil compensation based on the actual loss,” noting that while the “accident was an unintentional mistake of the Chinese fishermen,” the Chinese fishing boat should “take the major responsibility.”
The apology came as President Rodrigo Duterte was scheduled to visit China.
The President had said he would raise the June 9 incident, the South China sea issue, among others, during his visit.
The Chinese vessel rammed FB Gem-Vir 1 on June 9, and then left the Filipino fishing boat’s 22 crew members in distress at sea.
They were eventually rescued by a Vietnamese boat.
China had said the Chinese vessel was only forced to leave the area for fear it would be besieged by other Filipino boats there.
President Duterte has described what happened as a “maritime incident.”