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APOLOGY BY CHINESE TRAWLER OWNER SIDESTEPS ABANDONMENT ISSUE – GORDON

The owner of the Chinese trawler may have apologized more than two months after the vessel hit a Philippine fishing vessel near the Recto Bank, but the apology did not acknowledge the abandonment of the Filipino fishermen who were abandoned at sea, Senator Dick Gordon has pointed out.

“No mention has been made of the abandonment by the Chinese crew, of the Filipino fishermen on board their sinking boat or floating in the sea,” Gordon said.

“Abandonment or failing to come to the rescue of persons in danger especially at sea is a criminal act.”

“The abandonment issue is more serious than the property damage matter. In fact, abandonment or failing to come to the rescue of persons in danger especially at sea, is a criminal act,” the veteran legislator added.

With the apology referring to the incident as an accident, the seasoned lawmaker questioned whether a credible and exhaustive investigation has already been conducted that would support the conclusion that it was an accident and not an intentional act.

“While the apology is a step forward, it conveniently sidesteps the abandonment issue.” 

“We have taken care of our people already. Right after the incident, an apology should have been issued then. While the apology is a step forward, it conveniently sidesteps the abandonment issue,” the senator stressed.

The owner of the Chinese ship apologized, through an association, to the affected Filipino fishermen for the incident wherein the Chinese trawler rammed the F/B Gem-Ver 1 last June 9 with the 22 crew members being left stranded for four hours in the open sea until a passing Vietnamese vessel rescued them.

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