“We urge all Filipinos to assert our rights on Recto Bank, as it is being snatched from us by China, in the name of rich natural resources.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – Anakpawis Partylist has expressed its disappointment as President Rodrigo Duterte broke his silence and dismissed the ramming of a fishing boat carrying 22 Filipinos as a “little maritime accident.”
“Duterte exposed himself as an epic failure of protecting Filipinos against foreigners, and worse echoed the line of the Chinese foreign ministry. The man claiming to be president, sitting in Malacanang is siding with China, instead of championing the case of the 22 Filipino fishermen,” Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said in a statement.
On June 12, the Department of National Defense confirmed the news that a Chinese vessel had rammed a fishing boat carrying 22 Filipinos and left them to the elements on June 9. Vietnamese fisherfolk rescued them instead.
Duterte has been silent on the issue though he was later described by his spokesman as “very angry” until he broke his silence on Monday, saying that he will not go to war with China over a small incident between two boats.
Casilao said Duterte has failed to serve and protect the welfare and interests of Filipinos.
“We urge all Filipinos to assert our rights on Recto Bank, as it is being snatched from us by China, in the name of rich natural resources,” he added.
Automatic reparation for Filipino fisherfolk in West PH sea
Anakpawis Partylist said Filipino fisherfolk must get automatic reparation and subsidies as they assert their fishing rights over the West Philippine Sea, adding that the rammed fishing boat in Recto Bank is estimated to be worth P2 million while their three-metric ton was at half a million pesos.
“We support the call for reparation for the victims, and we demand that it be made automatic, as Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea, are actually doing the country the priceless sense of service and sacrifice,” Casilao said.
He added that “while China supports its fishing fleet, our country abandons them, such as the regime’s latest downplaying on the attempted mass killing of 22 Filipino fishermen.”