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Wednesday, January 22, 2020
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Chinese fishers sorry for boat ramming


A GROUP of Chinese fishermen apologized for the ramming and sinking of a Philippine fishing boat in June near the Reed Bank in the contested South China Sea by one of its members.

Richard Balza, one of the fishermen aboard the fishing boat rammed by a Chinese vessel in June. PHOTO BY RUY MARTINEZ

The Chinese fishermen coursed their letter of apology through the Chinese embassy in Manila, which in turn sent the same to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The Chinese embassy translated a specific portion of the Chinese fishermen’s group and relayed it to the DFA. It was then sent as a “memorandum” to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

The Chinese fishers’ group said that “an accidental collision between a Chinese and a Philippine fishing boat in the waters of Reed Bank, Nansha island group on the evening June 9, caused damage to a Philippine fishing boat.”

“It was fortunate that there were no casualties. I feel deep regret that this accident had to happen and I would like to express my deep sympathy to the Filipino fishermen,” the group said. “The shipowner of the
Chinese fishing boat involved, through our Association, would like to express his sincere apology to the Filipino fishermen.”

The group said the boat involved in the accident was registered in Guangdong.

“We have come up with an accident investigation report. We believe that, although this accident was an unintentional mistake of the Chinese fishermen, the Chinese fishing boat should however take the major responsibility in the accident,” it added.

The group said it would urge the owner of the fishing boat involved to “actively coordinate with the Philippine side to expedite the latter’s claim for compensation according to the procedures for insurance claim.”

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Today’s Front Page January 22, 2020

Today’s Front Page January 22, 2020