MANILA - The wife of GEMVER-1 captain Junel Insigne is backing the possible impeachment of President Rodrigo Duterte after the latter said he will not stop Chinese poachers from fishing in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.
In an interview, Lanie Insigne said she was irked to hear the President's statement defending Chinese poachers who intrude into Philippine waters.
"Parang wala nang karapatan ang Pilipinas doon. Parang Chinese na lang ang sinusundan niya. Naiinis ako kanina, nanonood ako ng TV. Sabi ko, maigi pa ngang ma-impeach 'yan," she said.
Last June 9, Junel Insigne and his crew were left out at sea after their boat was hit by a Chinese vessel while berthed in the waters off Recto Bank (Reed Bank). Recto Bank is within the Philippines’ 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone, which guarantees the country’s exclusive rights to the natural resources in the area.
A Vietnamese ship later rescued the 22 Filipino fishermen.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila earlier denied that the Chinese vessel's crew abandoned the Filipinos at sea after ramming the GEMVER-1. It said the Chinese captain attempted to rescue the Filipino fishermen but was "afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats."
The Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest over the incident, saying abandonment of fishermen in the boat-ramming incident in the West Philippine Sea is a violation of international law.
The President earlier told Insigne and the other fishermen that China will not allow itself to be prevented to fish even inside the Philippines' EEZ.
"I’m sorry, but that is how it is,” Duterte said, addressing the 22 Filipino fishermen directly.
"Para sa kanila, sa China, it happened within their jurisdiction, sa atin within our jurisdiction because we have two conflicting claims of ownership."
The President has also threatened to jail persons who will file an impeachment complaint against him over the incident.