The National Youth Movement for West Philippine Sea is urging the Philippine government to file a diplomatic protest for what it considers a “dastardly and inhuman” act of the Chinese crew when their vessel hit and sank a Filipino fishing vessel in the West Philippine Sea on June 9, 2019.
A Chinese fishing vessel reportedly hit F/B Gimver 1 while it was anchored within the area of the Recto Bank, which is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, on Sunday evening. Instead of helping, the Chinese vessel allegedly left the area immediately and the 22 Filipino crewmen where left exposed to the hazards of the accident and the environment. A Vietnamese fishing vessel in the vicinity rescued all 22 fishermen and brought them to safety.
“We call on the Philippine foreign affairs and national defense officials to act accordingly,” said Dr. Celia Lamkin, the Saipan-based global chairperson of the group. “In strongest terms, we denounce the irresponsible action of the crew of the Chinese vessel. They could have at least done something to help and ensure the safety of the affected crew.”
NYMWPS called on the Duterte government to investigate and to take the appropriate diplomatic courses of action to ensure that the rights of the affected fishermen are upheld.
The group has been actively advocating for the preservation of territorial sovereignty in the area after the UN Tribunal’s decision recognizing Philippine ownership of the contested waters. It has also supported through its many initiatives the Filipino fishermen and their families affected by the refusal of China to respect the decision. (PR)