MANILA, Philippines – The captain of the Filipino fishing boat hit by a Chinese vessel in Recto Bank on June 9 apologized to President Rodrigo Duterte following reports that he snubbed the Chief Executive in their supposed meeting in Malacanang.
F/B GEM-VER 1’s boat captain Jonel Insigne said he didn’t know that it was Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol who asked to meet him and not the President.
“Humihingi po ako ng paumanhin sa ating mahal na presidente na hindi pala ako ipinatawag niya kundi si Secretary Piñol ang nagpatawag sa akin,” Insigne said.
“Hindi po ako natuloy, umatras ako dahil masama ang pakiramdam ko,” he added.
This was clarified by the Secretary himself during the hand over of assistance to the affected fishermen in San Jose, Oriental Mindoro on Wednesday (June 19).
“There was no any invitation from Malacañang. It was I, the Secretary of Agriculture, who wanted to talked to them and they came,” Piñol said.
The group of fishermen, through Insigne, appealed to President Duterte to help them and bring justice to what they have suffered at sea.
“Gusto ko po sana mapanagot po iyong kapitan nang bumangga sa amin, iyon lang po ang hiling ko sa ating mahal na presidente.” Insigne said. (with details from Sherwin Culubong)
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