Bayan Muna: No justice can be expected from China
MANILA, Philippines—The chair of left-wing party-list group Bayan Muna on Saturday (June 15) expressed belief that China’s statement dismissing the ramming of a Filipino boat by a Chinese vessel in Philippine territorial waters was simply a preview of how Chinese authorities planned to “whitewash” the case.
Lawyer Neri Colmenares, Bayan Muna chair, said China’s explanation that the Chinese fishing vessel accidentally hit the Filipino boat in panic because it was under siege by other Filipino boats was just an introductory statement leading to a whitewash.
The Filipino boat was sent sinking and the Chinese vessel simply abandoned the Filipino fishermen fighting for their lives at sea, according to reports quoting the Philippine Navy and the fishermen themselves.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila denied that the Chinese fishing vessel intentionally hit and abandoned the Filipino fishing boat at the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
The embassy version of the story had the captain of the Chinese vessel trying to rescue the Filipino fishermen but abandoned the rescue effort for fear of being “besieged” by other Filipino boats in the area where the ramming took place.
Colmenares said that China’s statement “only shows that we cannot expect justice from China.”
“Even if the claim to an accident is true, the Chinese vessel has the duty to inform other ships that there are shipwrecked sailors in the area, but the Filipino fishermen said that the Chinese vessel immediately left and even turned off its lights,” the Bayan Muna chair said.
Reacting to a statement by Geng Shuang, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, accusing the Philippines of making a mountain out of a molehill and giving poltiical color to the incident, Colmenares said: “We are not politicizing the incident, we are asking for accountability, which China is not prepared to give.”
“China was fast in investigating, concluding and absolving its citizens, in short, a whitewash. It is time that we resort to international mechanisms to get justice,” Colmenares added. (Editor: Tony Bergonia)
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