Locsin says, “Hey morons! I merely NOTED the Chinese apology. I did not accept it. I am not a fisherman,” in his Twitter account last night.
The said tweet is Locsin’s response to the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) post on Twitter showing a translated part of the Chinese shipowner’s apology letter for the fishing boat sinking incident two months ago at Recto Bank.
A Chinese association, Guangdong Fishery Mutual Insurance Association released the apology letter on behalf of the involved Chinese shipowner. It says, “The shipowner of the Chinese fishing boat involved, through our association, would like to express his sincere apology to the Filipino fishermen.” The letter also offered civil compensation for the cost of the damages inflicted on the Filipinos who are onboard the sunken boat.
The letter was sent just a few hours before President Rodrigo Duterte flies to China for a bilateral meeting. Duterte said that he would be assertive in pushing for the Philippines’ right to the South China Sea in accordance with the arbitral ruling and China’s rejection.
According to Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs received the letter. The embassy translated important portions of the letter and sent it to DFA Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. on Agust 28.
Locsin also said in his tweet, “Panelo merely expressed satisfaction with the apology for the incident and the offer of compensation and nothing more.”
Palace accepts Chinese apology
In a statement yesterday, Palace Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, “In relation to this, we accept the recent apology extended by the owner of the Chinese vessel to our fishermen affected by the incident.”
It was on June 9 this year that 22 crew members of F/B Gem-Ver left afloat after the Chinese vessel Yuemaobinyu 42212 hit and sank their boat. The crew was later rescued by Vietnamese fishermen.