The hottest issue that is getting the attention of almost all Filipinos these days is the alleged intentional ramming by a large Chinese fishing vessel of an outrigger Filipino fishing boat much smaller than the former.
Some ‘hotheads,’ mostly critics of the Duterte administration are demanding stronger action on the part of the Philippine government. And they seem pushing the Duterte government to commit acts that would create more tension between the Philippines and China without even waiting for results of an official investigation on the incident.
Sadly, the tension-inducing and fiery statements of administration critics appear to be inflamed by personal views of some of the President’s men who are talking too soon even before official probe on the matter is being started.
What seems to get the goat out of the critics and the fishermen are personal views of people like Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol who believes that the ramming of the Filipino fishing boat was an “isolated case” of an accident that can happen in an open sea.
Even the captain of the boat and his brother showed overt indications of their dismay of President Rodrigo Duterte because of what they interpreted as government’s pro-Chinese stand when Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi who heads the Cabinet Cluster for the MIMAROPA provinces, expressed his personal belief that the incident was not intentional.
So dismayed was the boat captain that he informed the media he was rejecting an invitation by President Duterte himself. And it’s all because he and the rest of his crew felt they were not believed in their statement and that the government is bias for China.
And all the more that the critics and the fishermen got mad when the President issued a statement that he is not ready to make a clear and definitive action on the issue at hand until an investigation has been conducted, the other party is heard of its side, and the formal result of the probe is submitted to him.
They even wondered aloud why the President expressed his willingness to go to war against Canada over the garbage dumping issue but is timid as a lamb against China in what they insist as a clear affront to the Filipino people and our sovereignty as a nation.
The critics seem overly agitated to have the government do drastic actions against China. Even Vice President Leni Robredo recommended that the government have all the crew members and owners of the Chinese fishing vessel identified and brought to our country to stand trial in Philippine courts.
If VP Robredo were President today will she do exactly what she has suggested without weighing on possible repercussions of her act? We can only doubt.
And here are these fishermen victims of the sea accident — or call it an “attack” if they so believe it was — showing disdain on what they believe is government inaction even as they continued demanding for assistance to tie them over while they can’t still fish back at the Recto Bank.
Frankly, we are at a loss whether the actuation of the fishermen victims of the incident is fair when they seem to disagree with every proposition of the government in regards to the issue, and yet demand that they be given the assistance they think they deserve?
Yes, we believe that Malacanang has made it clear that government does not dispute the claim of the fishermen that they were intentionally rammed by the Chinese fishing vessel. All that the Palace is asking for is for them to wait a little until the investigation can exact the side of the Chinese crew before it makes the next corresponding move.
Or, are some hands making movements for the Filipino fishermen to follow so they can be made capital by some vested interests at the expense of what is appropriate for the situation?