[Statement] CHR spokesperson on the Philippine fishing boat rammed by a Chinese vessel and our right to self-determination

The Commission on Human Rights echoes the condemnation of the Department of National Defense, Department of Foreign Affairs, and other concerned Philippine officials and parties against the acts of a Chinese fishing vessel, which rammed and sank a Filipino fishing boat, then merely leaving 22 Filipino fishers as casualties in open water without help.

We believe that asserting our sovereignty and the right of our fishers to rightfully gain economically from the resources found off the coast of Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea, a country’s exclusive economic zone, protects our people’s right to self-determination.

Not only does the exercise of this right underscores the parity of peoples in rights and opportunity, but also serves as a guiding principle for other nations to respect others’ sovereignty and international political status.

To this end, we affirm the need to protest the said incident before the Chinese government, and for our own government to appropriate robust measures that will protect the rights of all Filipinos—be it on land or at sea.

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