Lacson urges 'leader-to-leader talk' after Recto Bank collision

Lacson urges 'leader-to-leader talk' after Recto Bank collision

MANILA, Philippines — The sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel calls for a “leader-to-leader talk,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said Wednesday.

Lacson joined his colleagues and other government officials in condemning the crew of the Chinese vessel, who abandoned the sinking Filipino fishing boat after a collision in Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea.

The incident reportedly happened last June 9.

“We don’t treat our friends like that, and we don’t expect to be treated that way either,” Lacson 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,” he said.

“This incident calls for a leader-to-leader talk,” Lacson added. “As I said, nothing short of serious punitive action by the Chinese government against those responsible can convince us of a real friendly relationship between our peoples.”

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana strongly condemned the Chinese crew for abandoning the 22 Filipino fishermen.

“We denounce the actions of the Chinese fishing vessel for immediately leaving the incident scene abandoning the 22 Filipino crewmen to the mercy of the elements,” he said in a statement.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the Chinese fishing vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew. This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people,” Lorenzana further said. (Editor: Eden Estopace)