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22 Filipino fishermen rammed at WPS in 2019 to receive P12-M compensation from China — DOJ

The 22 Filipino fishermen abandoned by a Chinese vessel in Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea after hitting their fishing boat on June 9, 2019. (Photo courtesy: Philippine Navy)

Compensation is already at works for the 22 Filipino fishermen who were hit and abandoned by a Chinese fishing vessel at the Recto bank of the West Philippine Sea in June 2019.

In an interview, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said prosecutors in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro found that the 22 fishermen onboard the Filipino FB Gem-Ver agreed to civil damages worth over PHP 12 million.

“The total estimated civil damages amount to something like 12 million-plus pesos for the repair of the fishing boat that was rammed by the Chinese vessel, also for lost income or wages for a period of six months. These fishermen and the owner of the vessel also asked for moral damages,” Guevarra said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

He said the compensation estimate has been forwarded to the Department of Foreign Affairs, who will be tasked to send to the Chinese government.

“We’ll just be waiting for the reaction of the Chinese government on the matter of payment of the civil damages,” he added.

In June 2019, a Chinese fishing boat rammed and abandoned a FB Gem-Ver, leaving at risk the lives of 22 Filipino crewmen at the Reed Bank of the West Philippine Sea.

READ: Filipino vessel sinks after being hit by a Chinese fishing boat in WPS

Luckily, a Vietnamese fishing boat, who happened to be sailing around the area, found the Filipino fishermen who are wearing life jackets near the bank, clinging on to “plastic barrels and pieces of wood.”

As reports and the joint testimony of the Filipino crew, the Vietnamese fishermen took them on their boat fed them rice and instant noodles while they took some rest.

READ: Vietnamese crew recalls how they helped Filipino fishermen: “Anyone would do the same thing”

The incident drew ire from the Filipinos, criticizing the diplomatic ties of the country with China.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte downplayed the incident, calling it plain “maritime incident.”

READ: Prez Duterte downplays Recto Bank incident, calls it a “maritime incident”

The Chinese Embassy also issued a statement denying claims that they rammed F/B GemVir 1 on midnight of June 9 and abandoned its Filipino crew, on the risk of drowning.

Based on its issued statement, the Chinese fishing boat Yuemaobinyu 42212 from the Guangdong province did hit the Filipino fishing boat, but they were afraid that if they attempt to rescue the Filipino crew, other Filipino fishing vessels may attack them.

 

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