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Fil-Chinese biz group leader: Recto Bank incident not a big issue in China

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 6/28/2019 Jimenez, Raffy
a group of men posing for a picture: The Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. led by its President Dr. Lim Bon Liong (2nd-left) hands over a P1,250,000.00 check to the owner and the skipper of the F/B GEM-VIR during a press conference in Quezon City on Friday, June 28, 2019. The GEM-VIR was rammed by a Chinese fishing vessel in Recto Bank on June 9, 2019. GMA News © GMA News The Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. led by its President Dr. Lim Bon Liong (2nd-left) hands over a P1,250,000.00 check to the owner and the skipper of the F/B GEM-VIR during a press conference in Quezon City on Friday, June 28, 2019. The GEM-VIR was rammed by a Chinese fishing vessel in Recto Bank on June 9, 2019. GMA News

The president of a Filipino-Chinese businessmen group on Friday said the Recto Bank incident, where a Filipino fishing boat was reportedly rammed by a Chinese vessel, is not a big issue in China.

"I think ito malaking insidente sa Pilipinas pero sa Tsina, mga businessman diyan, I don't think ano eh... wala silang alam dito eh. Hindi nila alam anong nangyari sa Reed Bank," Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) president Henry Lim Bon Liong told reporters.

"It's not a big issue sa Chinese press. Sa dami ng ibang news ng ano eh. Pero sa atin malaking ano ito," he added.

Bon Liong also said the controversial maritime incident has no business implications.

Asked about the ties of Manila and Beijing following the incident, Bon Liong believes the relationship between the two countries is still fine.

"I think ito so far, it's still okay... wala ako nakitang ano. Alam mo the President matalino naman... he's ano eh, he'll not fight something na hindi natin kaya... He has Filipinos in mind," Bon Liong said.

Earlier, the group donated P1.2 million for the rehabilitation of the F/B Gem-Vir 1. The group also gave P250,000 worth of livelihood assistance to the 22 Filipino fishermen.

On June 9, a Philippine fishing boat carrying 22 Filipino crewmen sank after being hit by a Chinese vessel at the Recto Bank.

Chinese men also reportedly abandoned the Filipino fishermen at sea. The Filipinos were only rescued by Vietnamese fishermen in the area.

The unfortunate incident had prompted the Philippine government to file a diplomatic protest against China.

The Philippine Coast Guard also conducted an investigation on the matter. It said it already finished its probe but refused to disclose its findings yet.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra had made a proposal to include the Chinese in the inquiry. Days later, Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted the offer of China for a joint investigation.

Guevarra has said the mechanisms of the proposed Philippines-China investigation on the maritime incident are being discussed. — RSJ, GMA News

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