MANILA -- Several business groups on Sunday pledged to help Filipino fishermen whose boat was hit and sunk by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea.
The Filipino craft was anchored near Recto (Reed) Bank last June 10, when it was allegedly rammed by the Chinese vessel, causing it to sink along with its 22 crewmen, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said it, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Philippine Silk Road International would donate P1 million to the fishermen.
The aid would be split equally for the repair of their boat and livelihood support, PCCI said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FFCCCI) may give P2 to P3 million to the Filipino crew, said the group's president, Henry Lim Bon Liong.
"I'm calling on Lorenzana and the Navy to give us more information. Definitely, we can make use of resources to rehabilitate. We're in the process of contacting them (fisherman) already," he told reporters.
He appealed to the public to give "more sober" reactions to the collision, saying "We don't want to create any animosity between China and our country."
The Filipino-Chinese businessman also urged Beijing and Manila to jointly investigate the incident.
"Makikita naman sa satellite, very clear 'yan. It will come out, sino binangga," he said.
(That can be seen in the satellite images, that would be very clear. It will come out, who was slammed.)
Reed Bank is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) off the Philippine island of Palawan. It is within Manila's 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone and far from China's nearest major landmass.
With reports from Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News and Agence France-Presse