After being the first who condemned the boat sinking incident in West Philippine Sea, Defense Secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, now says that “it’s just an accident.”

During the Kapihan in Manila Bay forum in Malate, Manila, Wednesday, June 19, Lorenzana believes that the incident was just an accident based on further information from the crew.

“I think it’s just an accident, based on information we got from the crew. Maybe the other side did not intend to bump them,” Defense Secretary said.

“Yun nga lang, iniwanan (The thing is, they were left),” Lorenzana added.

Lorenzana’s statements are a reflection of China’s words about the incident, which the country has described it as an ordinary maritime accident.

Difference of Lorenzana’s statements

His recent statements are merely far from his previous ones when he broke the news to the public, wherein the Filipino boat “collided” with Chineses’ and Filipino fishermen were abandoned at sea.

What he said on June 12 is, “We condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the suspected Chinese fishing vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew. This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people.”

On June 9, the Fishing Boat Gem-Ver was hit then abandoned by a Chinese ship near Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea, which belongs to Filipinos.

The Filipino fishermen then expressed their dismay regarding the remarks of the President that made them feel that we are already slaves of China.

Sec. Lorenzana spoke the statement in the forum after he was asked if the Philippines can invoke its Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with Western superpower of the United States against China. Then he said that the defense agreement does not cover the ramming incident.

His response is, “The MDT provides for an attack. This is not an armed attack.”


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