Press Release
August 30, 2019


The owner of the Chinese fishing boat may have apologized more than two months after the ship hit a Filipino fishing vessel in Recto Bank, but the apology did not acknowledge the abandonment of the Filipino crew who were left in peril of the sea, Senator Richard J. Gordon pointed this out.

"No mention has been made of the abandonment by the Chinese crew, of the Filipino fishermen on board their sinking boat or floating in the sea. The abandonment issue is more serious than the property damage matter. In fact, abandonment or failing to come to the rescue of persons in danger especially at sea, is a criminal act," he said.

With the apology referring to the incident as an accident, Gordon questioned whether a credible and exhaustive investigation has already been conducted that would support the conclusion that it was an accident and not an intentional act.

"We have taken care of our people already. Right after the incident, an apology should have been issued then. While the apology is a step forward, it conveniently sidesteps the abandonment issue," he added.

The owner of the Chinese ship apologized, through an association, to the affected Filipino fishermen for the incident wherein the Chinese vessel rammed into the FB Gem-Vir 1 last June 9 and the 22 crew members of the floundering fishing boat were left stranded for four hours until a passing Vietnamese vessel rescued them.

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