Made in China! Hontiveros scores PCG report on sinking of PH boat at Recto Bank
By: Shane Waldo S. Juan
Senator Risa Hontiveros is in disbelied over the results of the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) investigation, which showed that Filipino fishermen were to blame for the sinking of their boat in the West Philippine Sea earlier this month.
Hontiveros called the report “made in China” because it appeared to gloss over China’s admission that its vessel hit the fishing boat, F/B GEM-VER, and abandoned its 22-member crew at sea afterwards.
“Tayo na nga ang binangga, hindi tinulungan at iniwanang halos mamatay sa gitna ng dagat ng isang dayuhang sasakyan na dapat ay wala sa ating teritoryo, tapos tayo pa ang may sala?,” she said.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. said in a television interview that the PCG’s probe found out that the F/B GEM-VER’s crew only stationed a cook as lookout as other fishermen slept.
The vessel also did not give a signal to the Chinese fishing boat, causing it to hit F/B GEM-VER.
Hontiveros suggested than a separate panel, composed of Filipino maritime experts, ex-navy officials and lawyers, investigate the incident separately to uncover truth and bring justice to aggrieved Filipino fisherfolk.
“Given the conflicting statements of the Palace and the fact that those statements suspiciously mirror the narrative peddled by China, an informed expert third party would be a step in the right direction,” she said.