General Admission

Man’s most despicable show of cruelty at sea

By Al S. Mendoza

LET us go to the facts.

Fact 1:  A vessel from China has hit the rear part of a vessel from the Philippines on June 9.

Fact 2: The Filipino vessel was anchored at Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.

Fact 3: The Filipino vessel was a fishing boat.

Fact 4: The Filipino vessel had 22 fishermen on board.

Fact 5:  The 22 fishermen were left at sea by the fleeing Chinese vessel.

Fact 6:  Vietnamese fishermen rescued all 22 Filipino fishermen.

Fact 7:  Both vessels were obviously privately owned.

Some questions begging for answers.

One, was the Filipino vessel intentionally hit by the Chinese vessel?

Two, did the Chinese vessel try to deliberately sink the Filipino vessel?

Three, was the Chinese vessel also carrying Chinese fishermen?

It is hard to say if the Chinese intentionally hit the Filipino vessel. 

If it did, it was just to scare the Filipino fishermen because what was hit was only the vessel’s rear?

Or was the Chinese captain a poor shot that he missed his intended target?

No, the Chinese did not deliberately try to sink the Filipino boat.

If it did, it would have rammed the middle of the Filipino boat, its superior edge in size easily cutting the Pinoy vessel into two. 

Until the Chinese break their silence, we have no way of knowing whether those on board the Chinese vessel were fishermen or militiamen out to scare the Filipino fishermen.

The “accident” happened at minutes past midnight.

There were no witnesses, other than the cook of the Filipino vessel.

He said he woke up the Filipino captain when he saw the approaching Chinese vessel.

But his efforts were in vain as the Chinese vessel hit the Filipino boat before the captain could even start maneuvering his boat to safety.

The Chinese vessel fleeing the scene, leaving the 22 hapless Filipino fishermen adrift in the sea, was an act begging for an answer.

The Chinese authorities have yet to issue an official explanation.

Until they do so, the Chinese’ act of abandoning the 22 fishermen will remain as the most despicable show of cruelty at sea of man against his fellowmen.

It could easily become as the most abominable sea story of the year as it easily ranks as a frustrated murder en masse.

Good thing nobody drowned.

Credit immediately goes to the Vietnamese fishermen, whose heroism saved all 22 from imminent harm.

There is seething anger in the aftermath of the “accident.”

But a word of caution:  We should use reason over emotion since apparently, two private vessels from two different countries were the principal actors in this whole caboodle.

Had military vessels from both countries been involved, it would have meant a completely different scenario.

War between China and the Philippines erupting maybe?

Yes, we need a thorough probe.

Whether or not it would be a joint effort by both countries is immaterial.

Whether or not a third party would be included in the investigation is also immaterial.

Whatever form it might take, the difference would be the same.

Let’s move our butts.  Just do it.  Now.

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