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Malacañang shared the view of the Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lonzana as regards the collision between a Filipino vessel and a Chinese ship, which transpired in the West Philippine Sea at night on June 9.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said that the act of abandonment, by those sailing the Chinese fishing vessel of twenty-two (22) Filipino fishermen aboard their anchored and stationary watercraft hit by them is uncivilised and outrageous.
Panelo asserted that “regardless of the nature of the collision, whether it was accidental or intentional, common decency and the dictates of humanity require the immediate saving of the crew of the downed Philippine vessel.”

According to Panelo, the present territorial conflict between the Philippines and China, can not be an impediment for the Chinese vessel to lend a hand to the distressed Filipino crew members.

“The Captain and the crew of the Chinese vessel should not have left the injured party without any assistance or succor. Such an act of desertion is inhuman as it is barbaric. It is a crystal-clear violation of maritime protocols as well as an infringement of internationally accepted practice of assisting a vessel in distress,” Panelo said.

Panelo further stated that they are calling on the appropriate Chinese authorities to probe the collision and impose the proper sanctions to the involved Chinese crew.

Meanwhile, the Palace official expressed Philippines sincere gratitude to the seamen of a Vietnamese vessel who rendered relief services to the distressed Filipino fishermen following the collision.