Gordon to China: Abandoning our fishermen is the issue


MANILA, Philippines — “Whether it is an accident or an intentional collision is beside the point. The crux of the matter is you (China) left the fishermen in peril of the sea.”

Senator Richard Gordon said this on Wednesday in reaction to China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang remark that the Recto Bank incident was an “accidental collision.”

“The issue is that people are not supposed to be abandoned at sea,” Gordon said in a statement.

The senator noted that aside from violating a “very tight international rule,” the Chinese’s action “went against human nature.”

“You don’t even need a law to help people who are in distress at sea. The natural law, or the nature or character of human beings, is to save his fellowmen. I’m sure many of the Chinese know that when there are people to be saved, they will save them,” he said.

Gordon also urged China to stop taking a position which could worsen the issue, pointing out that it is “not difficult to admit one’s fault.”

“First, China admitted that it was a Chinese vessel and that they would investigate and take cognizance. Then they say that the Chinese vessel was engaged in a light purse seine operation when it was suddenly besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats. Sinabi pa nila (They said) the Chinese vessel failed to shun a Filipino fishing boat, and its steel cable on the lighting grid of larboard bumped into the Filipino pilothouse. Tapos yung (Then the) Chinese foreign ministry spokesman maintained that it was an accidental collision between fishing boats at sea,” he said.

“It is not difficult to admit one’s fault. In October 2011, the Philippine Navy quickly apologized to China after one of its warships accidentally rammed a Chinese fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea. China could have done this too,” Gordon added.