The Filipino fishermen who operated Gem-Ver, the boat that was rammed and sunk by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea, will finally receive compensation almost three years after the incident, said the Department of Justice on Thursday (April 28).
According to reports, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed a "final settlement" of the damage claims of the Gem-Ver fishermen against the owners of the Chinese vessel.
Six million pesos ($115,000) will be given to the owner of Gem-Ver and 22 fishermen involved in the Recto Bank (Reed Bank) incident in June 2019. They had initially sought an estimated P12 million in damages.
The Chinese boat, the steel-hulled Yuemaobinyu 42212, struck the wooden Philippine fishing boat Gem-Ver as it sat at anchor near Reed Bank, about 565km (350 miles) southwest of Manila. The fishermen were left adrift at sea for hours before being rescued by a Vietnamese vessel.
US analysts later said that the Chinese vessel may have been on enforcement duty.
The incident triggered a diplomatic protest from Manila, while Filipinos also took to the streets
In August 2019, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs released part of a letter written by China’s agriculture ministry which contained an apology from the captain of the Yuemaobinyu, and assurances from Beijing that the captain would cooperate in compensating the Philippines for the loss of the Gem-Ver.