- On June 9, a Philippine fishing boat Gem-Ver 1 was hit by a Chinese vessel and threw out its 22-Filipino crewmen.
- The President dismissed the incident as a “little maritime accident” according to his statement.
- Celebrities like Bianca Gonzalez, Agot Isidro, Enchong Dee, Kiana Valenciano, and Jasmine Curtis-Smith disapproved Duterte’s statements while Robin Padilla supported Duterte.
In the dead of night of June 9, seven to eight Filipino craft ganged up on a lone Chinese vessel. In retreat the latter accidentally hit Philippine fishing boat Gem-Ver 1, throwing 22-Filipino crewmen into the water. The Chinese vessel then sailed away without helping the survivors. The Philippine fishing boat was sunken in Recto Bank (Reed Bank) of the West Philippine Sea. Then, a Vietnamese boat passed by and rescued the survivors.
After the concerning incident, the Philippines filed a diplomatic protest against China and called the attention of the United Nations International Maritime Organization to the Chinese violation of the laws of the sea.
However, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, July 17, he dismissed the incident as a “little maritime accident” and said he would not go to war with China because of it.
“What happened in the collision is a maritime incident. Do not believe the dumb politicians who want to send the Philippine Navy. You do not send gray ships there. That is only a collision of ships,” the President said in a speech during the Philippine Navy’s 121st anniversary celebration in Sangley Point.
“Maritime incident is a maritime incident. It is best investigated. And I do not now issue statement because there is no investigation and there is no result. Then the only thing we can do is wait and give the other party the right to be heard. That is important,” the President said.
Several TV personalities got furious with the incident. They questioned the laid-back statements of Duterte over the Chinese vessel ramming and abandoning of Filipino fishermen.
Kapamilya stars Bianca Gonzalez, Agot Isidro, Enchong Dee, Kiana Valenciano, and Kapuso actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith did not hold back to air their dim view of President Duterte’s statements on twitter.
“Sana’y mabigyan ng hustisya ang buhay at pakikipagsapalaran nilang mga mangingisdang Pinoy,” Bianca wrote.
Sana'y mabigyan ng hustisya ang buhay at pakikipagsapalaran nilang mga mangingisdang Pinoy. 🙏🏼 https://t.co/UCvxRkWp4q
— Bianca Gonzalez (@iamsuperbianca) June 14, 2019
“The more details that come out from the Pinoy fishermen and China boat incident, mas lalo nakakadurog ng puso..” she added.
The more details that come out from the Pinoy fishermen and China boat incident, mas lalo nakakadurog ng puso..
— Bianca Gonzalez (@iamsuperbianca) June 15, 2019
Enchong also posted: “Ang liit ng tingin satin ng ibang bansa, mas liliit pa yan pag hinayaan nating manahimik para sa mangingisda natin laban sa mga Bully.”
Ang liit ng tingin satin ng ibang bansa, mas liliit pa yan pag hinayaan nating manahimik para sa mangingisda natin laban sa mga Bully.
— Enchong Dee (@enchongdee777) June 15, 2019
While Isidro said: “Someone once said: “Mahirap kayo? [email protected]$:”# ^~A Magtiis kayo sa hirap at gutom, wala akong pakialam.
“Parang ganito din yon”
Someone once said:
“Mahirap kayo? [email protected]$:”# ^~A Magtiis kayo sa hirap at gutom, wala akong pakialam.”
Parang ganito din yon. https://t.co/2ffm1u3LA3
— Agot Isidro (@agot_isidro) June 17, 2019
“What happened in Recto Bank is a sampling of what will happen (or maybe happening already) to our whole country. We are being bullied by the Chinese, leaving us pretty much on our own.And guess who’s being friendly with the bully?Go figure,” Isidro wrote.
Valenciano said that President Duterte’s statements did not surprise her, “Not even a little surprised.”
Jasmine also expressed her dismay by saying:”DAPLIS LANG?!?!?????? WOW”
DAPLIS LANG?!?!?????? WOW. https://t.co/6m8LUAU82x
— Jasmine (@jascurtissmith) June 17, 2019
Amid the criticisms, Robin Padilla chose to side with Duterte and aired his sentiments to the Presidemgt’s detractors during his facebook live on Tuesday afternoon June 18.
“Huwag na lang ho nating palakihin. Siguro katulad ho ng sinasabi ko nung araw, kung sino ang matatapang, e, sila na lang ang pumunta don. Huwag na nating idamay pa ang Armed Forces, yung Pilipinas.”
According to him, Duterte made the right and wise decision.
“Sa sitwasyon ho natin ngayon kailangan, e, utak muna ang nakikipaglaban at magaling diyan ang President natin.
“At alam din ho ‘yan ng China.Kumbaga, nakikipag-chess ho ngayon yung ating Pangulo sa president [ng China].”
He also hit back the ones who opposed President Duterte’s decision. In the end of the video, Padilla gave his message to his fellow Filipino people.
Sana po lahat ng maging kababayan natin, huwag masyadong maging padalus-dalos.
“Hindi ho ito labanan ng itak pa. Tapos na ho ang labanan ng itak. Tapos na ho ang labanan ng baril. Ito ho ay labanan ng missile. Wala po tayo nun.
“Yun ang nakalulungkot, wala po tayong maipagmamalaki sa ngayon,” Robin said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang in Beijing on Monday, June 17, stressed that the Recto Bank incident “is only an accidental collision between fishing boats at sea” and expressed his sympathy to the Filipino fishermen who was distressed by the accident.
“On the early morning of June 10, an accidental collision took place between a Chinese fishing vessel and Filipino fishing vessels near the Liyue Tan. We express our sympathy to the Filipino fishermen who were in distress,” Lu said.