(Eagle News)–The Palace has accepted the apology of the owner of the Chinese vessel that rammed a Filipino boat in Recto Bank in June and abandoned the 22 Filipino crewmen in distress at sea.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace also “welcome(s) the owner’s humility to take responsibility and acknowledgment that compensation must be provided to cover the actual loss.”
The apology was contained in a letter signed by Chen Shiqin, president of the Guangdong Fishery Mutual Insurance Association, which was reportedly given to the China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
Portions of the letter were translated by the Philippine Embassy in China and were included in a 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 comes with President Rodrigo Duterte slated to visit China from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1.
The President had said he would raise the “maritime incident,” and the South China Sea dispute, among others, during the trip.