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PHL files diplomatic protest over Reed Bank incident

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr. on Thursday said he has already filed a diplomatic protest over the incident in which a Filipino fishing boat sank after it was hit by a Chinese vessel over the weekend at Reed Bank.

"I fired off a diplomatic protest yesterday (Wednesday)," Locsin said on Twitter as he replied to the statement of outgoing Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on the incident.

Trillanes had suggested to Locsin to refer the case to the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization.



"The Maritime Safety Committee of the IMO is it; but, Sonny, that I will proceed on the merits of the case and what it calls for while the matter is studied by the IMO. Even our ally failed us in Scarborough, remember?" Locsin replied.

Malacañang has called for an investigation into the incident and the imposition of sanctions against the Chinese crew for abandoning the Filipino fishermen.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo deemed the act of the Chinese men as "uncivilized." 

It was on June 10 when the Maritime Situational Awareness Center - West (MSAC - West) received an information from the boat captain of FB 076 that a Chinese fishing vessel collided with Filipino boat F/B GIMVER 1.

The bow number of the Chinese vessel was not identified, according to the information shared by Police Regional Office 4-B. 

The incident was bared by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on June 12, the day the Philippines celebrated its 121st Independence Day.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Penetrante earlier said the incident may be intentional as the boat was anchored when it was hit by the Chinese vessel.

He added that if it's accidental, the Chinese crew should have stopped and assisted the Filipinos.

AFP public affairs chief Colonel Noel Detoyato has said the Philippine Coast Guard will probe the incident while the Philippine Navy will assist in the salvage operations for the boat. — RSJ, GMA News