Philippines, China yet to meet on Recto Bank incident: Esperon
The Philippines and China have yet to meet to discuss their reports on what happened in Recto Bank where 22 fishermen were rammed by a Chinese fishing vessel last June 9.
In a forum on Wednesday, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon said they received the report of the Philippine Coast Guard but it is still to be finalized.
“We already have the report of the Coast Guard. So we would now have to have a meeting with our ? the two governments (should meet) to compare the reports,” Esperon said.
“It has not been finalized but we are sure that because China has admitted that the ship that (collided) is a Chinese vessel, we expect that ship would be fined and pay amelioration,” he added.
Even if the Chinese vessel’s captain has not been identified, Esperon said it will be easy to find him since the ship was named.
He said they will also follow through if the boat captain has been charged for leaving the Filipino fishing crew at sea after their vessel rammed their boat.
Esperon said he is not sure if the Chinese government will send investigators in the Philippines but he clarified they can only gather information and not investigate the fishermen.
“They have no authority to do that. They can only gather information,” he said.
Esperon added that discussing compensation will also be part of the meeting but the filing of a suit will be up to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Based on the joint investigation report of the Philippine Coast Guard and the Maritime Industry Authority, which was submitted to Malacanang on June 20 they called the incident a “very serious marine casualty”. Ella Dionisio/DMS