Robredo visits, listens to Recto Bank 22 fishers’ stories
CITY OF CALAPAN –– Vice President Leni Robredo visited the 22 fishermen, who figured in an incident with a Chinese trawler in Recto Bank, on Friday morning in their Barangay San Roque, town of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro province.
The fishermen survived the reported ”ramming and sinking” of F/B Gem-Vir 1 on June 9 at the West Philippine Sea, a case that both the governments of China and the Philippines dubbed as a “maritime incident.”
Robredo arrived before 10 a.m. at the house of boat owner Arlene dela Torre in Barangay San Roque.
Dela Torre, in a phone interview, said Robredo talked with her crew in her house while she was outside. There were also no police or media during the dialogue and Robredo did not grant interviews.
Robredo proceeded to visit the house of the boat captain, Junnel Insigne.
In a phone interview, Insigne said Robredo just listened to their stories.
“We were made to narrate our experiences. She didn’t say anything. We’re happy that she also came to our house.
She’s a kind and cheerful person. We felt comfortable with her,” he said.
Robredo also visited the house of the boat’s machine operator.
After the dialogue with the fishers, Robredo proceeded to the municipal hall with Mayor Romulo Festin.
Meanwhile, Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez Sato has amplified the calls of the fishermen for an immediate marine inquiry, saying this will determine if the incident was intentional or accident.
Speaking during the media briefing at San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, Sato also stressed the lack of patrols in the area that puts the lives of fishermen at risk.
“Kami po rito, wala po kaming proprotektahang ibang interes kundi po ang interes po ng aming mga mangingisda at interes po ng bansa,” the congresswoman said.
She added that this incident should never happen again. (Editor: Leti Z. Boniol)
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