Chinese Embassy ‘shocked and saddened’ by sea collision; ready to render assistance

Published June 30, 2020, 6:15 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The Chinese Embassy in Manila on Tuesday said it is “shocked and saddened” by reports that a Filipino fishing boat with 14 crewmen and passengers onboard sank when it collided with a Hong Kong-flagged bulk cargo ship off the waters of Occidental Mindoro at midnight of June 28.

This undated handout photo released by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on June 29, 2020 shows the fishing boat Liberty 5 after it collided with a cargo ship registered in Hong Kong early on June 28 off the coast of Mindoro island, southwest of Manila.
(Photo by Handout / Philippine Coast Guard / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

“This is a tragic incident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the missing crewmembers and passengers. We sincerely hope all of them could be rescued at the earliest,” the Chinese Embassy said in a statement sent to reporters.

While it took note of the ongoing investigation being conducted by relevant Philippine authorities to determine the cause of the incident the Embassy said it is “ready to render any necessary assistance.”

“During this difficult time, our top priority should be given to the rescue of missing crew members and passengers. Pending the investigation, we hope all parties refrain from politicalizing the issue and seeking narrow interests from such a humanitarian tragedy,” it added.

In the same statement, the Chinese Embassy also took note of media reports referring to the June 2019 collision incident where Filipino fishing boat Gem-Ver was rammed by a Chinese vessel in the South China Sea.

The Filipino fishermen and the owner of the boat that sank in the incident have to receive their compensation.

“China has been working closely with the Philippine side to solve the case. The concerned Chinese fishing association has already offered a compensation proposal to the Philippine side and has been waiting for formal feedback from the latter,” the Embassy said.