By Leslie Ann Aquino
A Catholic prelate said the report that a Filipino fishing boat sank after it was hit by a Chinese vessel a manifestation of China’s continuing bullying of the Philippines.
“This is a clear manisfestation of China’s continuous bullying of the Philippines,” Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said in an interview.
He added: They have no respect for our territory nor respect for Filipino lives.
“Yet, Duterte sees nothing wrong with China!” said Bastes.
On Sunday night, a Philippine fishing boat sank near the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea after it was supposedly hit by a Chinese fishing vessel.
The incident was disclosed on Wednesday by Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, while denouncing the actions of the Chinese boat of abandoning the 22 Filipinos aboard the FB Gimver 1.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said the incident showed that China cannot be trusted.
“What they did shows that they could not be trusted, and they really have selfish, vested interest on contested islands,” he said.
“If they are really our friends and neighbours who propagate common peace and prosperity among Asians they should avoid provocation, maintain restraint and help our 22 fishermen,” added Santos.
Catholic prelates then called on the Philippine government to investigate the incident.
“The Philippine government should ask for explanation on the incident and should demand why the Filipino fishermen have not been rescued and given proper care,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said.
“That is very delicate and dangerous action that demands serious and strict investigation,” said Santos.