MANILA – The Philippines will consider cutting its diplomatic ties with China if the collision of the Chinese vessel with a Filipino fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea over the weekend will be proven intentional.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said it can be considered as an “act of aggression” if the incident was intended to bully the 22 Filipino fishermen on-board the boat.
“Ibang usapan na iyon ‘pag intentional… If it is intentional, it’s an act of aggression,” Panelo said.
“O, eh ano pang step? Eh ‘di we will cut off diplomatic relations, ‘yan ang unang ginagawa ng mga… ‘pag mayroong mga aggressive acts,” he added.
“Magkakaroon ng dagdag na galaw ang ating gobyerno,” the Palace official said. “Well, tingnan mo ‘yung ginawa natin sa Canada, ‘yun basura lang ‘yun pero si Presidente galit na galit du’n. Di ba ni-recall natin ang mga ambassador natin?”
Panelo added that President Rodrigo Duterte was “outraged” when he was informed last Wednesday by Department of National Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana about the incident.
Duterte, who has been vocal in addressing issues in his speeches, has been silent on the matter during his speaking engagement on Thursday in General Santos City.
“Our responses will always be calibrated, depende sa degree. But definitely, we will not allow ourselves to be assaulted, to be bullied, to be the subject of such barbaric, uncivilized and outrageous actions from any source,” Panelo said.
Twenty-two Filipino fishermen were abandoned by a Chinese crew after its ship collided with their fishing boat near the Reed Bank off Palawan on Sunday. They were later rescued by a Vietnamese vessel. /PN