A MILITARY official has described the incident involving a Filipino and a Chinese fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea as a "hit and run" case and said the Chinese vessel had "intentionally hit" the Filipino boat.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command spokesperson Stephen Penentrante said a collision was impossible because the Filipino vessel was stationary near Recto (Reed) Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
“Ito po ay naka-anchor sa Recto Bank. Ibig sabihin hindi po ito gumagalaw, naka-anchor kasi, pagkatapos ito po ay nabangga nitong Chinese vessel, yan, and after the collision the Chinese vessel immediately umalis po, tumakas, parang hit and run,” said Penetrante.
(The boat was anchored near Recto Bank. That means it was not moving. Then it was hit by the Chinese vessel. After the collision, the Chinese vessel immediately left, like it was a hit and run incident.)
“According to our report, it's far from accidental kasi kung accidental po ito the SOP should be, they should stop di po ba? And then they should rescue these fishermen natin ano po. Kung titingnan nyo po sa incident report, may intentionality e, kasi hindi tumigil po,” he added.
(If this were accidental, the SOP is they should stop and rescue the Filipino fishermen. But based on the incident report, there was intentionality because they did not stop.)
The Filipino fishing boat F/B Gimver 1 sank after it was hit by the Chinese vessel in the evening of June 9, 2019. The 22 Filipino fishermen on board the boat were rescued by Vietnamese fishermen who were in the vicinity.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has lodged a diplomatic protest with China and called for an investigation into the accident. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)