STATEMENT OF SENATOR RICHARD J. GORDON ON THE ABANDONMENT OF THE FILIPINO CREW OF THE PHILIPPINE BOAT THAT SANK AFTER COLLIDING WITH A CHINESE VESSEL IN THE WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
I take umbrage at the Chinese crew's act of leaving and abandoning the Filipino crew after their boat collided with the latter's vessel and sank near the Recto (Reed) Bank in the West Philippine Sea last Sunday. They committed acts of inhumanity by leaving and abandoning people who are in peril of the sea and they should answer for it.
There are laws like the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea or SOLAS and Article 98 of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS that mandate vessels, especially after a collision, to render assistance to the other ship, its crew and its passengers, and where possible, to inform the other ship of the name of his own ship, its port of registry and the nearest port at which it will call. The Chinese crew violated these laws.
I hope anybody in the West Philippine Sea or anywhere in the world would understand that there are responsibilities by all peoples for those who are in peril of the sea.
The Philippine Coast Guard should always be in position in that area. We must have Coast Guard assets there to protect our fishermen.