Not again! Filipino crew missing after hit and sank incident with Chinese vessel
A crew of Filipino fishermen went missing after their boat was hit and sank by a Chinese vessel off Occidental Mindoro. Sounds familiar?
If this isn’t a bad case of history repeating itself, then we don’t know what is. During the same month last year, F/B GEM-VER1, a fishing vessel aboard 22 Filipino fishermen was rammed, sank, and abandoned by a Chinese vessel.
This resulted in 22 fishermen, who hail from San Jose, Mindoro Occidental, to be left floating for hours in the middle of the sea until Vietnamese fishermen came to their rescue.
This time, however, the group of fishermen are still missing and the national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) is not having it.
On Monday, PAMALAKAYA condemned the new collision incident and called for speedy search and rescue operations for the missing fishing crew.
“We strongly condemn this another collision incident in our territorial waters involving our Filipino fishermen and a Chinese vessel. We call on the authorities to expedite the search and rescue operations for the missing fishing crew and as much as possible, must be returned to their families safe. Moreover, the Chinese cargo ship should be held accountable for endangering the lives of our fisherfolks,” PAMALAKAYA said.
The Chinese cargo vessel was identified as Vina Moon while the Filipino vessel was the Liberty Cinco.
The 14 fishing crew including two employees of Irma Fishing Corp., the owner of the Liberty Cinco, have yet to be found as of this moment.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson Fernando Hicap likened the recent incident to the ramming and sinking of the F/B Gem-Ver1 by a Chinese vessel that endangered the lives of 22 fishermen in Recto Bank last year.
Hicap lamented that the 22 fishermen “have yet to be fully compensated by the Chinese vessel that hit and abandoned them last year”.
“This is the very same month last year that a Chinese vessel almost killed 22 Filipino fishermen in 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.
“Ayaw na nating maulit ang kawalang hustisya sa ating 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,” he added.