MANILA—Senators Panfilo Lacson and Francis Pangilinan on Wednesday condemned “the cruel act” committed by a Chinese ship that collided with and sank a Philippine vessel, which endangered the lives of 22 Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea.
Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana acknowledged the incident on Wednesday, saying Philippine ship F/B GIMVER1 was anchored in Recto Bank when it was hit by the Chinese vessel.
Lorenzana denounced the actions of those onboard the Chinese ship then thanked a Vietnamese vessel, which saved the Filipino crew.
Lacson said Beijing should take punitive action against the Chinese crew.
“We don’t treat our friends like that and we don’t expect to be treated that way either,” he said in a statement.
“Nothing short of a hard and serious punitive action by the Chinese leadership against the Chinese crew responsible for the cowardly act against our fishermen could assuage the majority of our countrymen’s strong apprehension about the sincerity of China towards us.
“This incident calls for a leader-to-leader talk. As I said, nothing short of a serious punitive action by the Chinese government against those responsible can convince us of a real, friendly relationship between our peoples.”
Pangilinan urged the government to file a diplomatic protest.
“We condemn the illegal acts committed by the Chinese vessel,” he said.
“We denounce the inhumane and cruel act of abandoning 22 human lives in the high seas. We urge our government to reverse its policy of subservience and appeasement and file diplomatic protest.
“No self-respecting nation in the world will stay meek and docile in the face of such cruelty and aggression.”