By Jeffrey Damicog
It will be up to President Rodrigo Duterte whether to pursue or not a joint probe with China over the sinking of a Philippine fishing vessel in Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea, said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra Friday.
Guevarra said this in response to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. who has expressed opposition in conducting a joint probe.
“Let’s leave it to the President. No further comment. I respect the SFA’s (Locsin) opinion,” Guevarra told reporters.
In his Twitter post, Locsin stated that: “There will be no joint investigation.”
“China and Philippines will conduct their respective investigations,” he stated.
Locsin added that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Malacanang has already expressed support to his view.
Guevarra had earlier said the Philippines should pursue a joint inquiry over the incident in Recto Bank where an allision allegedly took place between two vessels of China and the Philippines.
“This joint inquiry may also serve as the forum wherein accountabilities may be determined and allocated, and restitution or reparation, if due, may be effected,” Guevarra explained.