Palace to China: Probe sinking of Filipino boat, impose proper sanctions on Chinese crew

(Eagle News)–The Palace  has called on the Chinese government to investigate the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat following a collision with a Chinese vessel off Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo also urged the Chinese government to “impose the proper sanctions to the Chinese crew,” who, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had said left the 22 Filipino crew members of  FB Gimber 1 after collision.

The 22 were saved by a Vietnamese vessel, whose crew Panelo thanked.

“The act of abandonment, by those sailing the Chinese fishing vessel of twenty-two Filipino fishermen aboard their anchored and stationary watercraft hit by them is uncivilized as it is outrageous,”  Panelo said.

He said the “present territorial conflict between the countries of the two colliding vessels pertaining to the area where the collision occurred, is not – and can not be an impediment for the offending vessel to lend a hand to the distressed crew.”

“The Captain and the crew of the Chinese vessel should not have left the injured party without any assistance or succor. Such as of desertion is inhuman as it is barbaric. It is a crystal-clear violation of maritime protocols as well as an infringement of internationally accepted practice of assisting a vessel in distress,” Panelo added.