Dela Rosa: PCG-Marina report will change Duterte’s view of Recto Bank incident
MANILA, Philippines — Neophyte senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said Monday that the Philippine Coast Guard and Maritime Industry Authority’s (Marina) official joint investigation report will change President Rodrigo Duterte’s view of the Recto Bank incident.
The President earlier dismissed the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat by a Chinese trawler at the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea as a “little maritime accident.”
But Dela Rosa said Duterte has this conclusion only because there was no investigation yet at the time.
“Hindi pa kasi lumabas’ yung investigation noon nung nasabi ni Pangulo’ yun. Lumalabas lang na ordinaryong banggaan (The investigation report has not been released then, so the President has that conclusion. It appears then that it was just an ordinary collision),” Dela Rosa told reporters in an ambush interview at the Senate.
“Ngayon, mayroon nang official report, official investigation report, na nagsasabi na ‘yung Chinese ang at fault. Sigurado ako mag-iba na ang tingin ng Presidente doon sa sitwasyon na yan, sa kaso na yan (Now there is already an official report that says the Chinese are at fault. I’m sure the President will change his view of the situation),” he added.
PCG and Marina’s joint report, “Joint PCG-Marina Marine Safety Investigation on the Incident Involving FBCA Gem-ver,” said that the Chinese vessel failed to extend assistance to the 22 Filipino fishermen who were abandoned in the open sea.
The report noted that this is a failure to comply with the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations obliging masters of ships to assist distressed persons at sea.
The report also said the Chinese vessel “failed to take appropriate action to avoid the risk of collision and to render assistance to a vessel in distress.”
Dela Rosa earlier said charges must be filed against the Chinese crewmen involved in the incident to prevent more Filipino fishermen from suffering the same fate. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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