He denounced the actions of the alleged Chinese crew for leaving the scene and abandoning the Filipino crew at sea.
Lorenzana also expressed gratitude to a Vietnamese crew in the area who came to the aid of Filipinos.
The family of one of the Filipino fishermen also thanked the Vietnamese crew for their swift action.
“Malaki po ang pasasalamat namin, kahit hindi natin sila kaano [kalahi] pero tinulungan po sila,” said Maria Fe dela Torre, whose husband owns the boat that collided with the foreign vessel.
They also expressed hope that the Duterte government will seriously investigate the incident and give justice to the Filipino crewmen.
“Ang unang reaksyon namin nagulat, nataranta kami tapos galit kasi bakit di nila tinulungan tao namin? Nakita nila na lumulubog,” said May dela Torre, kin of one of the fishermen, when asked about their initial reaction upon learning about the incident.
“Kasi kung ‘di talaga nila sinasadya or aksidente talaga, kung tao sila, titigilan mo, tutulungan mo. Wala eh. Umalis sila eh. Iba ang nagrescue sa kanila,” she added.
Lorenzana earlier said that China has been informed about the incident and a probe has already been launched.
He also said they are now verifying if the fishing vessel that hit and sank the F/B GIMVER 1 belonged to China.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture assured to provide assistance to the Filipino fishermen and to their families.
“Puwede kaming tumulong na maipa-repair at temporarily mawalan ng hanapbuhay ‘yung mga mangingisda. Pwede naming tulungan, mayroon kaming mga loaning program for them,” said Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.
Japan’s annual defense review accuses China of pushing its territorial claims amid the coronavirus pandemic and suspects Beijing of spreading propaganda and disinformation as it provides medical aid to nations fighting COVID-19.
“We’ve written some details about China’s persistent moves to attempt to alter the status quo surrounding the Senkaku Islands which is our territory,” said Japanese Defence Minister Taro Kono on Tuesday (July 14).
The white paper approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on Tuesday described “relentless” intrusions in waters around a group of islets claimed by both nations in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
In the South China Sea, it said Beijing was asserting territorial claims by establishing administrative districts around disputed islands, that forced countries distracted by the coronavirus outbreak to respond.
Japan sees China as a longer-term and more serious threat than nuclear-armed North Korea. Beijing now spends four times as much as Tokyo on defence as it builds a large modern military. (Reuters)
MANILA, Philippines – The Chinese Embassy did not take kindly Senator Risa Hontiveros’ claims that China owes the Philippines at least P200-B in reparations for the ecological damage it has caused the West Philippines Sea reef system during the past six years of its reclamation activities.
Hontiveros, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, said such amount could be used to help affected families and improve the country’s healthcare system amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Her claims, she said, was based on a study conducted by the University of the Philippines (UP) Marine Science Institute.
In response, the Chinese Embassy called such remarks by Hontiveros as ‘ridiculously absurd and irresponsible’ and was made “for the sole purpose of catching eyeballs and for selfish political gains.”
The Embassy added that “China and the Philippines are friendly neighbors across the sea” and so the latter commits “to continue to provide our support and assistance” to the Philippines.
Hontiveros, on the other hand, said: “It is more absurd and irresponsible to see that, indeed, in the middle of a global pandemic, China has continued to aggressively violate Philippine sovereignty in the region.”
Hontiveros added that China cannot claim to be a friendly ‘neighbor across the sea’ when it has continued its land reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea.
“Friends help each other out, not occupy their islands and destroy their reefs,” the lady senator argued.
On Wednesday (April 22), the Philippines filed two diplomatic protest against China – one for its creation of new districts in the disputed territory in the WPS and for its alleged pointing of a radar gun at a Philippine Navy ship in Philippine waters, as confirmed by Foreign Affairs Teddy Locsin Jr. MNP (with inputs from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard and Chinese Coast Guard on Wednesday conducted joint maritime drills on search and rescue and combating fire at sea in the waters off the Philippine capital.
In a statement, the PCG said participating Filipino and Chinese personnel were given a scenario involving a vessel that caught fire while transiting Manila waters.
In response, the PCG deployed its 44-meter multi-role response vessel 4401, BRP Tubbataha, while the Chinese team dispatched vessel 5204. Both ships were equipped with water cannons used in firefighting assistance.
Five passengers and eight crew aboard the distressed ship were also rescued using rigid hull inflatable boats with rescue swimmers to aid the victims.
The PCG said the drill allows coast guard personnel to exercise interoperability and strengthen their capabilities in responding to such crises.
The joint maritime drills on search and rescue, and combating fire at sea are part of the week-long activities of Chinese Coast Guard’s port call in Manila.
The visit aims to strengthen understanding, mutual trust, and cooperation between the Philippines and China Coast Guard in a bid to promote maritime security and maritime law enforcement amid the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
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