A lawmaker at the House of Representatives urged the government to make public the findings of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on the West Philippine Sea incident involving a Filipino fishing boat which sank when reportedly hit by a Chinese vessel last June 9.
“We believe that it is to the interest of the Filipino people that we see that report, especially the findings and recommendations of the Marina and the PCG,” Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Sato said in a statement.
The lawmaker was reacting to reports that Marina and the PCG have already wrapped up their investigation on the Recto Bank incident where 22 fishermen, who all came from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, were reportedly abandoned by the Chinese crew to the mercy of the elements.
The investigation report was confirmed by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, who said that the findings have been submitted to Malacañang on June 20.
“The priority should always be the Filipinos, our fishermen who were the victims in this incident. What really happened? We need to know. We call for the release the report now,” Sato said.
Meanwhile, Sato reiterated her call for concerned government agencies to actively patrol and protect Philippine territory, especially in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Recto Bank is part of the country’s EEZ, which means the Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over the living and non-living resources in the area.
“Active patrolling and protection of our EEZ would prevent any similar incident from happening again,” Sato said. (PNA)
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