Filipino ship captain on Chinese vessel incident: It was deliberate

Rescued Filipino fishermen transfer to another ship as they head back to shore in Occidental Mindoro province Philippines on Friday

Rescued Filipino fishermen transfer to another ship as they head back to shore in Occidental Mindoro province Philippines on Friday

"If it were true that it was Chinese fishing boat which did it, they would be duly educated and punished for their irresponsible behavior", Zhao said.

China has launched a "serious" investigation into the incident that a Chinese fishing vessel rammed and sank an anchored Filipino boat in the West Philippine Sea, its envoy said.

The Philippine government had been careful in saying that it was possible that a non-Chinese vessel could have rammed the Filipino fishing boat. The 22 Filipino fishermen were later rescued by a Vietnamese vessel. He said the crew of the vessel did not rescue 22 local fishermen after their boat sank.

Carpio reminded the Chinese vessel had no business being in Recto bank where F/B Gimer 1 was anchored and fishing with its lights on.

The Western Command Spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Penetrante, stated that the AFP had determined that incident in the South China Sea was "far from accidental", reports Rappler.

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The Philippines filed a diplomatic protest on Wednesday.

The senior magistrate said "the Filipino people must send a strong signal to China that any new "grey zone" offensive of ramming Filipino fishing vessels in the West Philippine Sea will mean a break of diplomatic ties with China". He delivered a speech in General Santos City on Thursday, but did not mention the collison.

Carpio has been championing the country's resolve to take sole control of the West Philippine Sea.

"In the arbitration at The Hague, the tribunal ruled that the failure of China to prevent its fishing vessels, even those privately owned, from fishing within Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone in the West Philippine Sea was a violation of UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea)", explained Carpio who cited the Philippines' 2016 win in the arbitration case against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The country claims Reed Bank as part of the province of Palawan, as it is only 85 nautical miles away from Philippine shores.

The landmark decision of the global court rejected China's argument that it had sovereign and historic rights over the disputed sea region located within the so-called nine-dashed line.

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