After two months since the “hit-and-run” incident of the Filipino fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea, the owner of the Chinese vessel has released a letter of apology to the DFA on Wednesday, August 28.
On June 9, a Philippine fishing boat carrying 22 fishermen was left behind after being rammed by a Chinese vessel in Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea. Fortunately, after the sinking of the boat and the crew was helpless for hours in the sea, a Vietnamese fishing vessel came by to save them.
After the Chinese abandoned the Filipino crew members onboard F/B GIMVER1, Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana condemned this incident by saying: “We denounce the actions of the Chinese fishing vessel for immediately leaving the incident scene abandoning the 22 Filipino crewmen to the mercy of the elements.”
On June 14, the Chinese embassy initially denied the claim regarding the “hit-and-run” sinking of a Filipino boat by a Chinese ship. Afterward, a second statement was released by the embassy where they state the omission of their previous statement and send their sympathies to the 22 Filipino crew of the Gem-Ver, according to Rappler.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang described the previous event as “only an accidental collision between fishing boats at sea”. Lu had vowed China would continue to investigate the matter, adding it was “irresponsible and counter-constructive to link this incident with China-Philippines friendship or even make political interpretations out of it,” according to South China Morning Post.
On Twitter, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) released an apology of the owner of the Chinese ship which was coursed through an “association.”
— DFA Philippines 🇵🇭 (@DFAPHL) August 28, 2019
In the letter, it read: “I feel deep regret that this accident had to happen and I would like to express my deep sympathy to the Filipino fishermen. The shipowner of the Chinese fishing boat involved, through our Association, would like to express his sincere apology to the Filipino fishermen.”
“We believe that although this accident was an unintentional mistake of the Chinese fishermen, the Chinese fishing boat should, however, take the major responsibility in the accident,” it additionally mentioned.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin mentions that he has “noted” Chinese ship owner’s apology in the signed letter.
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