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Palace denies ‘politicizing’ West PH Sea collision: Iniwan nila ang mga mangingisda para malunod!

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By Prince Golez

Malacanang denied on Friday it was politicizing the reported incident involving a Chinese vessel that collided with a Filipino boat and abandoned the 22 Filipino fishermen as their boat sank.

“First, we are not politicizing that incident. What we are focusing is on the act of abandoning; not the collision itself, because collisions happen in the high seas. But the act of abandoning is in violation of the UNCLOS – the United Nations Convention Law on the Seas,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in an interview on ANC.

Panelo was reacting to Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang’s statement that the collision of the vessels was an “ordinary maritime accident” and that it was irresponsible for the Philippines to “politicize the incident without verification.”

“You don’t even need an international law provision on that. It’s a human act of lending hand to somebody in distress,” according to the chief presidential legal counsel.

The Palace official said Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua has informed him they are “seriously” and “thoroughly” investigating the incident.

“He says that Chinese government shares our concern and if it is shown that the accident was intentional, then the culprits or the offenders would be educated and accordingly punished. That is what he said,” he added.

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