Maritime Expert Urges PH Gov’t To Review South China Sea Policy
SOUTH CHINA SEA – A maritime expert from the University of the Philippines urged the PH government to review the South China Sea policy.
Following a previous article, a Chinese vessel allegedly hit a Filipino boat and sailed away without helping the 22 fishermen in the West Philippine Sea.
Fortunately, the fishermen from Vietnam arrived to help the Pinoy fishermen who are struggling in the water.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana condemned the incident at the Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea.
“We denounce the actions of the Chinese fishing vessel for immediately leaving the incident scene and abandoning the 22 crewmen to the mercy of the elements. The F/B Gimver 1 was anchored at the time when it was hit by the Chinese fishing vessel,” said Lorenzana.
Based on a report from Inquirer, the director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, Professor Jay Batongbacal, said there is a probability that China might do it again if not reprimanded.
The maritime expert said the Philippine government should review the policy on the South China Sea.
“The Philippine government should not allow this incident to pass without reviewing/reconsidering its policy on the South China Sea.”
“This may be just the latest example of how China continues to intimidate its neighbors in the South China Sea, and if China continues on this trajectory, we may soon see Chinese vessels frequently ramming and forcing our fishermen out of the West Philippine Sea, the same way that they’ve done to Vietnamese fishermen in their home waters,” he added.
According to the report, Reed Bank is believed to be rich in gas deposits and oil.
The Philippine government can exploit and explore the area based on the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling. It is part of the country’s exclusive economic zone.
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