‘Chinese crew’s desertion of distressed fishermen a violation of maritime protocols’
MANILA, Philippines – The Chinese fishing boat crew who abandoned a sinking Filipino fishing boat in Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea after a “collision” should be held accountable as it was a clear violation of maritime protocols, Malacañang said Thursday.
“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,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“Regardless of the nature of the collision, whether it was accidental or intentional, common decency and the dictates of humanity require the immediate saving of the crew of the downed Philippine vessel,” he stressed.
The Palace official added that the tension in the West Philippine Sea is not an impediment for the offending vessel to lend a hand to the distressed Filipino crewmen.
“The captain and the crew of the Chinese vessel should not have left the injured party without any assistance or succor. Such act of desertion is inhuman as it is barbaric. It is crystal-clear violation of maritime protocols as well as an infringement of internationally accepted practice of assisting a vessel in distress,” Panelo said.
He noted that appropriate government agencies have already extended assistance to the 22 Filipino crewmen of FB Gimber 1, who were rescued at sea by crewmen of a Vietnamese vessel.
Panelo also thanked the Vietnamese seafarers who rescued the distressed Filipino fishermen following the collision. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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