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Conflicting accounts of boat sinking will cast doubt on PH fishermen — Palace

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 09:30 PM June 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Conflicting accounts of the sinking of a Filipino boat in the West Philippine Sea will cast doubt on Filipino fishermen, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo emphasized the need for an investigation, citing the conflicting accounts of the Filipino crew.

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The boat captain of F/B GEM-VIR 1 Junel Insigne claimed that their boat was intentionally hit by the Chinese vessel, but the boat’s cook was unsure if that was the case, according to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

READ: Captain of sunken PH boat: ‘The Chinese did it’

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READ: Piñol: Filipino crewman says Recto Bank incident ‘could be unintentional’

“Kaya kailangan imbestigahan na talaga natin (We need to investigate). Formal inquiry na kailangan dito (It requires formal inquiry),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo, who is also President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said some factors could put accounts of the Filipino fishermen on the incident in question.

“Kasi parang may conflict ‘yung kapitan at ‘yung cook. Kasi tingin ng kapitan, sinadya. Tingin ng cook, mukhang hindi nakita (It appears that there’s a conflict with the accounts of the cook and the captain. The captain said it was intentional. The cook said it may not be deliberate),” he added.

The Chinese government earlier claimed that the Chinese vessel was besieged by seven or eight Filipino boats.

READ: China: No such thing as hit-and-run incident

“The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats,” China’s statement read.

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Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier reported that a Filipino boat sank at the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea on June 9 after a “collision” with a Chinese vessel. But he said the Chinese vessel abandoned the Filipino boat. (Editor: Eden Estopace)

READ: Chinese vessel abandons PH boat after collision

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TAGS: Chinese vessel, PH fishing boat, Recto Bank incident
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