Sinking of PH vessel by Chinese vessel ‘a first’

News Philippines Jun 14, 2019 at 2:43 pm

Screenshot 2019-06-13 13.45.41It is enough reason for this administration to seriously reconsider its friendship policy toward China,’ maritime law expert Jay Batongbacal tells Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The sinking of a Filipino vessel in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) as exposed on Wednesday, June 12, is a first in the dispute between the Philippines and China over these Philippine waters.

Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, one of the country’s leading experts on the West Philippine Sea, told Rappler that as far as he can recall, “this is the first sinking” of a Filipino vessel by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea.

Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, also said this incident is unprecedented.

Referring to China, Batongbacal said, “It’s the first time it deliberately rammed, sank, and abandoned a Filipino fishing vessel in the West Philippine Sea. It is not the first time it rammed, or otherwise took unilateral action against a Philippine fishing vessel.”

Batongbacal also said this “is consistent with China’s attitudes and actions against Vietnamese fishing vessels” in the South China Sea.

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