Press Release
June 19, 2019


Senator Richard J. Gordon called on government officials to refrain from making statements about the sinking of the Filipino fishing boat off Recto Reef and leave the talking to the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of National Defense.

Gordon explained that too many officials speaking, especially if they are not in sync with one another, may only weaken the country's position on the incident, where the 22 crew of the Filipino fishing boat were left in peril of the sea when their boat sank after being hit by a Chinese fishing boat near Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea last June 9.

"Cabinet officials who are not part of the negotiations should refrain from speaking or making statements about the incident. Let us leave the negotiations regarding the incident to the DFA, the DND and possibly the OSG. I think the President is already talking through the DFA, hence, the diplomatic protest. Do not force the President to talk more. The President can't be tied to a corner dahil kung iba ang lalabas sa investigation at taliwas iyon sa sinabi niya, hindi na niya mababawi," he said.

The Filipino fishing boat was rammed by a Chinese vessel around midnight of June 9. When the Filipino fishing boat sank, its 22 Filipino crew were left floundering in the water for about two or three hours before they were eventually rescued by Vietnamese fishermen at around 3 am the following day.

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