Duterte not planning to visit fishermen of rammed PH boat yet – Nograles
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is not keen on visiting the 22 fishermen, who were abandoned in the West Philippine Sea by crewmen of a Chinese vessel that rammed their boat, for now.
Instead, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Tuesday, the government would send Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to face the fishermen.
“Well, we are sending Secretary Piñol and Secretary Cusi. Whether or not the President himself [will face them], only the President can answer that,” Nograles told reporters in Malacañang.
“Well, in the meantime, Secretary Cusi and Secretary Piñol as alter egos of the President will face the fishermen,” he added.
Nograles could not say if the President would meet them in the future.
“Let’s just wait if there would be a meeting,” he said.
Despite not meeting the fishermen, the Palace official said the President thinks the issue is important.
“Of course he thinks this is an important issue. This is important [because] they are Filipinos,” he said.
After days of silence, Duterte broke his silence Monday on the sinking of a Filipino boat by a Chinese vessel at Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea, calling it a “little maritime accident.”
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said 22 Filipino fishermen were abandoned in the West Philippine Sea after being rammed by a Chinese vessel.
(Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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