The president of the Philippines announced on Wednesday that the country is conducting an investigation into a maritime accident that resulted in the death of three Filipino fishermen. The incident involved a collision that caused their boat to sink in the South China Sea.
Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. stated on the X social media platform that we are committed to ensuring that those responsible for this tragic maritime incident are held accountable, bringing reassurance to the victims and their loved ones.
According to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), three Filipino fishermen lost their lives when their fishing boat was hit by an unknown commercial ship while traveling through the South China Sea. This incident occurred on Wednesday.
According to a statement, the incident took place on Monday when the boat was 85 nautical miles (157 km) northwest of the contested Scarborough Shoal. Eleven crew members were able to survive after the boat sank.
Mr. Marcos stated that the incident is currently being investigated to determine the specific details and circumstances of the collision between a fishing boat and an unknown commercial vessel.
“We should let the PCG carry out its investigation and avoid making any speculations in the meantime,” he stated, mentioning the coast guard.
In recent times, there has been increased tension over the waters in question. This was sparked by the Philippines’ announcement that they have taken down a 300-meter ball-buoy barrier that was set up by China’s coastguard near the Scarborough Shoal, which is a popular fishing area and a highly disputed maritime feature in Asia.
The strategic reef, which was named after a British cargo ship that became stranded there in the 18th century, is located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. However, it was taken over by China in 2012 and they have since maintained a continuous presence of coast guard vessels and fishing boats in the area.
The Chinese government has denied the Philippines’ account of what happened with the barrier, while the US has expressed support for Manila and promised to uphold its treaty obligations to protect its ally in case of an attack.
The coastguard of the Philippines did not give further information about the event or disclose any specifics about the ship that allegedly collided with the Filipino crew.