Panelo: Gov’t will not tolerate oppression of Filipino fishermen
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday assured that the government will not allow or tolerate the oppression and harassment of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea in the wake of the boat ramming incident in Recto Bank last week.
“Let’s thread cautiously pero hindi tayo papayag na apihin ang ating mga kababayan. Ang sinasabi lang natin, huwag agad tayo mag-jump into conclusion,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
(Let’s thread cautiously, but we won’t allow our countrymen to be oppressed. What we are saying is that we should not jump into conclusion.)
“But we would like to assure our fishermen na hindi namin kayo pababayaan, at hindi namin kayo pinabayaan, lalo na yung mga nangingisda doon,” he said.
(But we would like to assure our fishermen that we will neglect you, and we did not neglect you.)
Panelo said the Chinese government has assured that it is investigating the incident and added that it will impose sanctions if the crew members of the vessel are found guilty of violating international laws.
REAR HIT. A closer look at the damaged fantail of the Philippine fishing boat Gem-vir 1. —Philippine Navy photo
He added that the Philippine government will not allow “absence of responsibility on the part of the wrongdoers.”
“In fact even the Chinese government said na hindi sila papayag na ganoon because they said irresponsible behavior yung abandonment,” he said.
(In fact, even the Chinese government said they won’t tolerate the incident because they said abandonment was irresponsible.)
Panelo likewise defended the “calibrated” stance of President Rodrigo Duterte on the incident, pointing out that the chief executive, as a “responsible leader,” just does not want to turn the issue into an international crisis.
The President had earlier described the ramming of FB Gem-Vir 1 in Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea by a Chinese vessel a “little maritime incident. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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