By Genalyn Kabiling
The government knows how to deal with the controversial ramming of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel without being told by former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the comment after Del Rosario reportedly pressed that China must be held accountable for the sinking of the Filipino boat in the West Philippine Sea.
“He doesn’t have to tell us what to do. We know what to do,” Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.
“Dapat ginawa nila ‘yan noon, noong sila’y nandiyan pa [He should have done that when they were still in power],” he added.
Del Rosario earlier blasted China for bullying the poor Filipino fishermen after its boat hit and sank their vessel in the disputed waters. He reportedly claimed that China has no respect for the rule of law and must be held accountable for the incident.
Panelo also brushed aside the call of Senator Risa Hontiveros to recall the country’s ambassadors in China over the latest maritime conflict.
“Lahat ng options kino-consider ‘yan [All options are being considered]. We don’t need the advice of the good senator on that,” he said.
The Philippine government has deplored the Chinese fishing vessel that struck the Filipino boat and left the distressed passengers stranded at sea.
Panelo said the government has filed a diplomatic protest over the ship collision and may cut ties with Beijing if the incident was proven to be intentional.