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.
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.
MANILA, Philippines – The Chinese Coast Guard will dock in Manila on Monday, January 13 for a five-day goodwill visit, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Friday.
PCG spokesperson Captain Armand Balilo said the China Coast Guard, headed by Director General Major General Wang Zhongcai, will visit the country for the conduct of maritime exercises with the PCG.
Participating coast guard members from the two countries will also hold search and rescue, and firefighting exercises. The drill will be held from January 13 to 17.
Balilo said that during the port visit, the Chinese and the Philippine coast guards will come up with a resolution that would ensure the security and safety of Filipino fishermen and public vessels traversing the country’s waters.
The PCG said it will welcome the China Coast Guard not with red carpet but with diplomatic reciprocity, the same way it welcomed the PCG during a past visit.
The Philippines has been in dispute with China over territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea.
On several cases, Chinese ships were reported to have been circling shoals under the Philippine territory, including the vicinity of Pagasa Island in the West Philippine Sea. There were also cases of Filipino vessels reportedly harassed by the Chinese Coast Guard vessels.
The PCG expressed hope that the drill would be an opportunity for both sides to discuss the issue, and help improve the line of communication between the two nations when it comes to maritime patrol.
“Para magkaintindihan din kasi ang iniisip nga namin kung merong ma-enhance iyong pagkakaibigan baka sakaling magkaintindihan, even doon sa patrol at tsaka sa mga challenges, baka magkaroon ng tamang protocol kung paano ang dapat na engagement,” Balilo said.
MANILA, Philippines – State weather service PAGASA forecast slight weakening of Typhoon Ursula (International name Phanfone) as it further moves west-northwestward over the West Philippine Sea.
As of 10:00 AM Thursday (December 26), the weather system was located at 235 km Northwest of Coron, Palawan with maximum sustained winds of 120 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph.
Still, tropical cyclone wind signals (TCWS) #1 remains hoisted over the northwestern portion of Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island and Calamian Islands where winds of up to 30 to 60 kph is expected to prevail in 36 hours.
Residents in these areas are advised to take appropriate measures for possible landslides and flashfloods while sea travel remains at high risk over the seaboards of areas under Signal #1 due to rough sea conditions.
Meanwhile, PAGASA already lifted for Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, the rest of Occidental Mindoro, and the rest of extreme northern Palawan.
Through the day, light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains will prevail over northern portion of Palawan including Calamian Islands and Lubang Island.
Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Rizal, and Northern Quezon, likewise, will experience cloudy skies with scattered rains.
According to PAGASA, Ursula is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday (28 December) morning.
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