WATCH: Recto Bank 22 fishers dodge journos in QC event
MANILA, Philippines—The Filipino fishermen, whose boat sank after being rammed by a Chinese vessel early this month, have turned silent when journalists tried to interview them after attending an event by the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) in Quezon City.
The fishermen, led by Junel Insigne, captain of the damaged fishing boat F/B Gem-Ver 1, received financial assistance from the FFCCCII.
The FFCCCII donated P1.2 million for the rehabilitation of the fishermen’s boat and another P250,000 as livelihood assistance for the 22 fishermen from Occidental Mindoro.
Aside from the financial assistance, the FFCCCII also pledged to allocate funds for the establishment of five public school buildings for the municipality of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.
Insigne, thanked the FFCCCII for the assistance given and hurriedly left the venue, dodging questions from reporters.
Insigne was accompanied by the boat owner Felix Dela Torre, and crewmembers Jaypee Gordiones and Richard Blaza.
Insigne and Dela Torre thanked the FFCCCII by reading a prepared statement during the press briefing.
WATCH: F/B Gem-Ver 1 captain Junel Insigne refuses to take questions from the media after a Filipino-Chinese group extends financial assistance to the "Recto Bank 22." @inquirerdotnet pic.twitter.com/dMIyPHy3VX
— Darryl John Esguerra (@DJEsguerraINQ) June 28, 2019
The media were told that Insigne and his crew will be meeting “VIPs.”
The FFCCCII assured that the assistance had “no strings attached” and in no way would affect the narratives of the fishermen as investigation of the incident is still ongoing.
READ: Fishermen get aid from Filipino-Chinese group with ‘no strings attached’
Last June 9, Insigne and his crew were left afloat in open sea for hours after their boat was rammed by a Chinese vessel while anchored in the waters near Recto Bank. A Vietnamese ship later rescued the 22 Filipino fishermen.
Recto Bank is within the country’s 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone, which guarantees the country’s exclusive rights to the natural resources in the area.
After the incident, Insigne told reporters that he was certain that their boat was deliberately rammed by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea.
However, Insigne’s tune changed after meeting Agriculture Secretary Mann Piñol, who was designated by the government to lead the team that will provide assistance to the fishermen. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
READ: Captain of sunken PH boat: ‘The Chinese did it’
READ: Ramming of PH vessel intentional or accident? Boat captain now unsure
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