..Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has yet to confirm the identity of the vessel that rammed a Philippine fishing boat north of the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) last week, its head told Radyo Inquirer 990AM on Monday.
The incident left a Filipino fisherman dead and several others injured.
¿Wala pang confirmation kung Chinese vessel nga yung bumangga. Kahapon hanggang ngayon hindi pa matinong makausap ang survivors dahil sa shock at hypothermia. Hindi pa accurate ang sinasabi nila (We have not confirmed anything yet. The survivors are still in shock. Their statements aren't accurate)," NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said.
Ramos said they were still waiting for reports from the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police Maritime Group, who were validating the nationality of those responsible for fishing boat AXL John¿s mishap.
AXL John, estimated to be roughly 25 meters in length, set sail last June 18 when it was hit by a larger vessel in waters west of Bolinao, Pangasinan on June 20.
Ramos said four survivors were recovered on June 23 and were rushed to the Gabriela Silang General Hospital in Vigan City. But one of the fishermen rescued from sea, Christopher Carbonel, died at the hospital.
Carbonel allegedly mentioned to the fishing boat¿s owner Jonalyn Honrado that the vessel that hit them was Chinese.
If proven that the vessel was indeed Chinese, Ramos said they were hopeful that the collision was not intentional.
Meanwhile, Ramos said rescue operations continued for other missing crew of the boat.