Poe warns against hasty judgment in death of 3 fishers in Scarborough Shoal
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday told the public not to make early conclusions about the recent incident in Scarborough Shoal, where a collision between a Filipino fishing boat and an alleged Marshall Islands-registred oil tanker led to the death of three fishers.
Poe, during a Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum, urged the public to wait for an official report from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
“This is a big [and] important concern for us. We have to know what was the reason behind it, what was the motivation, ito ba ay sinadya o aksidente,” said Poe.
(This is a big [and] significant concern for us. We have to know what the reason behind it is, what the motivation was, and whether it was intentional or an accident.)
“Hinay hinay lang tayo sa paggawa ng conclusion, kailangan marinig sa Coast Guard,” she added.
(We must take it slow when concluding; we need to hear from the Coast Guard.)
With the incident, she further stressed the need to boost the PCG’s budget for 2024 to boost its monitoring and supervision of the country’s surrounding coasts.
To recall, the incident occurred at around 4:20 a.m. on Monday when their fishing boat was rammed by a still-unidentified vessel some 180 miles (289 kilometers) from Barangay Cato in Infanta town of Pangasinan.
The PCG said it had not identified the vessel’s country of origin but confirmed that it was hoisting a foreign flag.