MANILA - Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday denounced the Chinese's abandonment of 22 Filipino fishermen after sinking their vessel near Recto Bank last Sunday.
In a tweet, Locsin echoed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who condemned the actions of the Chinese on Independence Day.
"I take my cue from Defense Sec. Lorenzana. What is contemptible and condemnable is the abandonment of the crew to the elements," he said.
"Vietnam's rescue will be the basis of enhanced Vietnam-PH military cooperation," he added.
The Philippine ship was anchored when it was hit by the Chinese vessel, Lorenzana earlier said.
A Vietnamese fishing vessel in the area rescued the Filipino fishermen in coordination with the Philippine military.
The defense chief has called for a formal investigation into the incident and requested diplomatic action against China.
The Philippines, Vietnam, and China are among countries that have competing claims of sovereignty in the South China Sea, a conduit for some $3.4 trillion of goods.
Late National Security Adviser Roilo Golez earlier said Manila should emulate Vietnam's strategy on defending marine resources in the West Philippine Sea.