Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told the press that the AFP is still investigating if a Chinese vessel indeed sunk the fishing vessel of Filipino fishermen in Recto Bank. [Link here]
International relations expert Sass Rogando Sasot maintained that it’s too early to tell that the culprit was a Chinese vessel.
Sasot is keeping the possibility open that the Vietnamese vessel who rescued the Filipino fishermen was the culprit.
However, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command (Wescom) commanding general Vice Admiral Rene Medina, the fishermen insisted that it was indeed the Chinese who hit their fishing vessel F/B Gimver at around midnight on June 9.
“Ang source namin ay ang mga fishermen mismo at sa tagal na nilang nangingisda sa area at palagi nila nakikita ang ibang mangingisda ng China, Vietnam kaya kilala na nila kung sino ang bumabangga sa kanila,” Vice Admiral Medina told Inquirer.net.
“Based on the status of the F/B Gimver na naka-anchor before the incident at sa ginawa ng Chinese fishing vessel after the incident, parang sinadya talaga. Sa lawak-lawak ng dagat at bakit doon mismo dumadaan ang Chinese fishing vessel,” he added.
Vice Admiral Medina told Inquirer.net that their interview with the fishermen “revealed that the Chinese vessel hit and destroyed the eastern portion of the FB Gimver. While at the brink of sinking, all the crew proceeded to the forward portion to counter the flooding of the fishing boat.”
“The Chinese fishing vessel stopped for a while, then two bancas from the fishing boat tried to approach the vessel and complain of the incident,” he added.