The 22 Filipino fishermen who spent six hours in the open sea after a Chinese vessel rammed their boat in Recto Bank (Reed Bank) are hoping the national government will thank Vietnam for rescuing them.
"Nag-aantay din ang mga mangingisda na sana mapasalamatan din ng national government 'yung Vietnamese fishing boat na nagligtas sa kanila. Kasi wala rin daw silang naririnig pa (mula sa national government)," Romulo Festin, mayor of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, hometown of the fishermen, said in an interview on GMA News' Unang Balita on Monday.
"Kung hindi pa nila pinuntahan 'yung napakalayong Vietnam vessel, hindi pa sila makukuha. Pinapuntahan ho sa bangkang maliit," he said.
On June 9, the fishermen were asleep aboard the F/B Gem-Vir I in Recto Bank when a Chinese vessel rammed into their boat. The Chinese vessel then left, leaving the Filipino fishermen out in the open sea.
According to the Chinese Embassy, the Chinese fishing vessel Yuemaobinyu 42212 was "berthed" in the area when seven or eight Filipino fishing boats "besieged" it. The Yuemaobinyu 42212 tried to shun a Filipino boat but "its steel cable on the lighting grid of larboard bumped into the Filipino pilothouse. The Filipino fishing boat tilted and its stern foundered."
"The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen, but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats," the statement read. The Chinese vessel sailed away after confirming that the fishermen "were rescued on board of other Filipino fishing boats."
Festin said this claim by the Chinese Embassy is a lie. —KG, GMA News