DEVELOPING — Junel Insigne, the captain of F/B GEM-VER, was firm from the previous media interviews that their boat was intentionally rammed by the Chinese, but now he says that the incident might be accidental.
Probably overwhelmed with the media briefing which happened after their crew’s meeting with the government officials. However, seated beside Piñol, he is now saying that he is unsure if they were intentionally hit by the Chinese vessel. He is only sure about the abandonment that the Chinese crew obviously did.
“Parang binangga, parang sinadya, parang hindi rin… Ang sinadya po talaga nila (Chinese vessel) ay yung pag-iwan sa amin (Maybe they hit us, it’s probably intentional but also wasn’t. But one thing is certain that they left us adrift after the incident),” Insigne said.
The boat cook supported the previous statement, who was the only one awake when the incident happened. He said that it is possible that the Chinese crew did not see them because they only have two lights on in their boat.
However, Piñol said that whether the act was intentional or not, Chinese crew violated human rights and neglected their obligation to rescue those in distress at sea. An obligation under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“Regardless of whether it was accidental or intentional, there is no justification to the act of the Chinese vessel to abandon the Filipino fishermen who were already in distress. Under international maritime laws, that is illegal. Under human laws, that is immoral.”
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also believes that the Chinese crew should apologize to Filipino fishermen and should give them financial compensation.
Piñol uttered that a report based on the conversation with the fishermen will be submitted to President Duterte, who called the incident a “maritime accident.”