Senator Robin Padilla pushed for early compensation for victims of the collision between a commercial vessel and a fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea.
At the Senate hearing that tackled the collision, Padilla stressed the government must speed up the process of giving compensation to the victims as they and their families are very poor.
“Ang akin lang gustong imungkahi sa ating taga-gobyerno at syempre dito sa ating mga bisita, for humanitarian purposes ika nga, if we could consider because these are very poor fishermen … I hope we could consider giving them compensation right away,” the legislator said.
“The fishermen are poor and dahil sa kahirapan, hindi naiintindihan ng mga biktima ang mga usaping legal tulad ng United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”
The senator noted, “The fishermen are poor and dahil sa kahirapan, hindi naiintindihan ng mga biktima ang mga usaping legal tulad ng United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”
Also, he said the victims could not afford to wait until the investigation and court processes are completed, as this could take years.
“Masyado kayong legalistic. Hindi naman nila maintindihan ‘yan ang UNCLOS natin, kung ulit ulitin natin ‘yan, ang UNCLOS. Mismo ang kababayan natin gulong gulo na diyan eh. Di natin maipaliwanag kung ano ang sovereignty, ano ang sovereign rights,” he said.
“If we wait for the court to decide this will take years. The collision is about a big ship and a very obsolete fishing vessel.”
“To tell you the truth we are not, the fishermen are not technologically advanced, they don’t even have radio, they don’t even have radar… If we wait for the court to decide this will take years. The collision is about a big ship and a very obsolete fishing vessel,” Padilla added.
Meanwhile, he stressed the importance of establishing archipelagic sea lanes in the Philippines as protection for our fishermen.
“Ito pong pagtatalaga ng sea lanes ay napakahalaga katulad ng nangyari ngayon na pinaguusapan natin, proteksyon ito sa ating mangingisda sapagka’t dumadaan ang malaking barko sa ating exclusive economic zone at alam nating pag malaking barko ay high-rise yan, ilang floors yan, di mo na halos makita kung ano ang nandoon nasa baba. Kaya napakahalagang may dadaanan lang po sila di katulad kanina yung sinabi ninyo e labo-labo na kung saan-saan dumadaan di na natin alam saan ang ruta kaya napakahalaga nito,” Padilla concluded.