By Charissa Luci-Atienza
A Liberal Party lawmaker is calling on the Philippine authorities to publicly disclose the results of their investigation on the Recto Bank incident.
Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine “Nene” Sato sought the public disclosure of the results of the investigation jointly conducted by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
“Where is it?”, Sato asked after Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade confirmed that MARINA and PCG have completed the investigation and that the reports have been submitted to Malacañang last June 20.
“Isang linggo nang na-submit ang report. Sa interes at kapakanan ng Pilipinas at mga mamamayan nito, kailangang makita na ng sambayanan ang report na ito, lalo na ang mga natuklasan at mungkahi ng Marina at Coast Guard (It’s already been one week since the report was submitted. We believe that it is to the interest of the Filipino people that we see that report, especially the findings and recommendations of the Marina and the Coast Guard),” she said in a statement.
Tugade made the confirmation in an interview during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.
Sato, who serves as the treasurer of the Liberal Party, insisted the results of the probe should be immediately released, even as she sought active patrolling and protection of the country’s territory.
“The priority should always be the Filipinos, our fishermen who were the victims in this incident. What really happened? We need to know. We call for the release the report now,” she said.
“Furthermore, we call for the active patrolling and protection of our territory especially in the EEZ, so as to prevent any similar incident from happening again,” she added.
President Duterte’s earlier statement that China can fish within our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) did not sit well with the Liberal Party.
Senator Kiko Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party, said it is against the Constitution.
“Ang Recto Bank ay bahagi ng Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) ng Pilipinas. Atin ito. Labag sa ating Saligang Batas na payagang mangisda rito ang mga taga China o sinumang dayuhan,” he said.
President Duterte also earlier gave in to China’s offer to conduct a joint investigation on the Recto Bank incident, which was opposed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr.