Filipino fishermen rammed by Chinese boat in 2019 to get P6-M in compensation


Posted at Apr 28 2022 03:48 PM | Updated as of Apr 29 2022 06:32 AM

MANILA — Filipino fishermen who were on a boat that was rammed by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea in 2019 will finally receive compensation, the Department of Justice said Thursday.

"I confirm that there has been a final settlement of the damage claims of the GEM-VER fishermen against the owners of the Chinese vessel," Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said. 

Six million pesos will be received by the owner of F/B GEM-VER on behalf of him and the rest of the fishermen who were involved in the Recto Bank (Reed Bank) incident, Guevarra said.

It was in June 2019 when Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana said that a Philippine vessel sank following a collision with a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea, triggering Manila to file a diplomatic protest against Beijing.

The incident left 22 Filipino fishermen adrift at sea for hours. They were eventually rescued by a Vietnamese vessel.

Guevarra in 2019 said the owner and crew members of the Philippine boat sought an estimated P12 million in damages.

China has been criticized for its aggressive assertion of its claims in the South China Sea, within which is the West Philippine Sea.

The basis of its claims in almost the entire South China Sea has been declared to have no legal basis by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2016.

Aside from driving away Filipino fishermen and official Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea, China has reclaimed some features there and fortified them with military installations.

— report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News


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