By Mei Jingya, Sina English
Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Tuesday that an unidentified cargo vessel only passed by the Philippines fishing boat before it sank and did not ram it, contrary to earlier reports.
Gazmin said in a press briefing that navy personnel interviewed captain of the fishing boat Edemio Balmores, who said their boat was drown into water by wave storms and a vessel passed near them later. The vessel did not ram them, not rescued them, either.
Earlier Philippine media coverage in a concert accused a Chinese vessel of ramming the Philippine fishing boat and finger pointed China's 'outrageous bullying behavior'. The mishap reportedly killed one crew member and left four others missing.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Monday that the Chinese side received no report about the alleged ship collision.
In a turn of events, the Philippine Coast Guard on Monday named a Hong Kong vessel as a suspect, saying the surviving fishermen reported to have noticed the Chinese characters “Hong Kong” as well as other markings on the ship.
Now, since Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has concluded that the ship went down due to strong waves, all the fuss should be brought to an end too.
It seems a standard practice that the Philippine media would blame China for any incident that happened in the disputed waters before verification, and that they insist they are always right, citing so-called witnesses and anonymous sources.
Journalism is not fiction. The Philippine media need to learn a news story will survive on facts.