Locsin on China’s version of Reed Bank incident — ‘Noted. Next’

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 15 2019 06:21 PM | Updated as of Jun 15 2019 10:54 PM

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said government will move forward with the military's version of the incident. File/Malacañang Photo

MANILA—"Noted. Next."

This was the response of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. to China's statement that it did not abandon 22 Filipino fishermen after sinking their ship near Reed Bank last Sunday.

In a tweet, Locsin said government will move forward with the military's version of the incident.

The Armed Forces' Western Command earlier said the incident was "far from accidental" and likened it to a "hit and run."

Beijing, through its embassy in Manila, however, said the captain of the Chinese ship tried to save the fishermen but was "afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats."

The foreign affairs chief said he has ordered the Philippine Embassy in London to appeal to the UK-based International Maritime Organization.

"Was in Geneva; now at UN. Proper official response to Chinese version—whether it changes or changes back or whatever—is simply: "NOTED". Kiko was on to something. China is free to do the same. We press on with our version. I authorized London PE to appeal to IMO in London," he said.

Locsin was referring to Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, who called the Chinese version of the incident "as fake as its territorial claims."

In its statement to IMO, the embassy urged member states of the organization and the United Nations to "put a premium on protecting life at sea in cases of maritime distress."

The Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest against China over the incident.