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Palace calls on China to sanction those involved in boat collision

June 13, 2019 - Thursday 7:06 PM by Jon Joaquin

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Malacañang on Thursday called on the Chinese government to look into the recent vessel collision in the West Philippine Sea and sanction those behind the incident, which left 22 Filipino fishermen swimming for their lives. 

Speaking to reporters at a Palace media briefing, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Chinese government must impose measures against the people involved in the incident.

"We call the Chinese government to probe the incident and to impose punitive actions against those at fault,” Panelo said.

Read: PH boat sinks after colliding with China vessel

He said the act of Chinese individuals abandoning the Filipino fishermen on board the fishing vessel was "outrageous, barbaric, and uncivilized."

“Definitely we will not allow ourselves to be assaulted, bullied, be the subject of such barbaric, uncivilized, and outrageous actions from any source,” he added.

Panelo said for now, the Philippine government, through Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., has already filed a diplomatic protest following the incident and is now waiting for China’s response.

Admitting that the government still does not know if the incident was deliberate or was the result of an accident, Panelo said Malacañang will not release any further statements regarding the incident.

Hindi naman natin alam kung sinadya or may sanction na ang Chinese government… Kaya nga natin pinaiimbestigahan sa kanila (We don't know if it was deliberate or if it had the sanction of the Chinese government… That is why we’re asking them to investigate).We’re calling their attention to do something about it. We want to know,” he said.

Hindi pa nga natin alam exactly kung ano iyong ship na iyon (We don’t even know exactly what ship it was). We want to find out first. If it was intentional, eh ibang usapan na iyon (then it’s an entirely different story),” he said.

Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte has already been informed of the incident but added it is the President’s call if he will be talking to Chinese President Xi Jinping about it.

“That’s the call of the President. Let’s wait for that,” Panelo said. 

“Our responses will always be calibrated depending on the degree,” he added.