Manila, Oct 4 (EFE). – Philippines authorities said on Wednesday that they were investigating the death of three Filipino fishermen whose boat was hit by an unidentified vessel in the South China Sea.
Philippines Coast Guard spokesperson Jay Tarriela said the Filipino Fishing Boat (FFB) DEARYN capsized on Monday.
“The Philippine Coast Guard is conducting a thorough investigation into (the) maritime incident. The incident occurred…after the vessel was hit by an unidentified vessel,” Tarriela wrote on social media platform X, previously called Twitter.
The incident killed the boat captain, Dexter Laudencia, 47, and two crew members, Romeo Mejeco, 38, and Benedicto Olandria, 62.
According to the testimony of 11 survivors, the fishing boat was hit by an unidentified vessel when it was being moored.
“Adverse weather conditions and darkness may have contributed to their boat not being detected by the passing unidentified vessel, thus resulting to the incident,” the spokesperson said, citing the survivor statements.
Manila said the incident occurred 85 nautical miles (157 km) northwest of the disputed Scarborough Atoll in the South China Sea, which was occupied by Beijing in 2012.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. insisted on X that what happened was being investigated, and that the Coast Guard was checking all boats in the area.
“We assure the victims, their families, and everyone that we will exert every effort to hold accountable those who are responsible for this unfortunate maritime incident,” he said.
The collision comes amid escalating tension in the area between Manila and Beijing, with weekly episodes sharpening the territorial dispute.
The latest incidents include the Philippines removing a “floating barrier” that, according to Manila, was placed by China to prevent Filipino fishing boats from fishing in the area near the atoll. EFE