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Chinese cargo ship hits Filipino fishing vessel, 14 fishing crew still missing

Malacañang has downplayed the incident as ‘banggaan lang.’

A Filipino fishing vessel was hit and sank by a Chinese cargo ship on Sunday, which resulted to 14 Filipinos missing up until now in Philippine waters. The said incident happened 14-nautical miles off the Cape Calavite, Occidental Mindoro. 

According to reports, the cargo vessel named MV Viena Wood collided with a Filipino fishing boat Liberty Cinco, which is owned by Irma Fishing Corp. Rescue operations are now being conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). 

Filipino national fishing group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) lambasted the said incident, stating that the crew of the Chinese cargo ship should be held accountable, as they have no rights to do that in the country’s territorial waters. 

“Ayaw na nating maulit ang kawalang hustisya sa ating mga mga mangingisda. Dapat mapanagot ang may-ari at kapitan ng barko ng China sa pagbangga at pagsagasa sa karapatan ng mga Pilipinong mangingisda sa ating sariling Karagatan,” PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson Fernando Hicap said. 

Moreover, the fishing group likened the incident on the F/B Gem-Ver1 last year, which was rammed by a Chinese vessel in Recto Bank and abandoned them on the waters for hours that endangered the lives of 22 fishermen. 

Hicap said that he is exteremly disppointed that the 22 fishermen are not yet fully compensated by the Chinese vessel that hit them last year. 

“This is the very same month last year that a Chinese vessel almost killed 22 Filipino fishermen on a hit-and-run incident in Recto Bank, an underwater reef formation in the West Philippine Sea. One year of no justice and yet another tragic incident happened,” Hicap said. [P]

Photo from Pamalakaya website

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