San Jose mayor says meeting between Duterte, captain of boat sunk by Chinese a good gesture

Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 17 2019 12:24 AM

MANILA -- The planned meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and the captain of the Filipino boat sunk by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea is a good gesture, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro Mayor Romulo Festin said.

Speaking to ABS-CBN News Sunday night, Festin said the provincial director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has been tasked to accompany F/B GEMVIR1 captain Junel Insigne and the team's cook, Richard Blaza, to meet the President.

This came after the dialogue between the affected fishermen and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Festin also said the meeting between the President and the fishermen is a chance for them to tell Duterte how they really feel.

Asked about the disappointment of Insigne and his wife, Lanie, over Cusi's remarks, Festin said he is unaware about it as he was unable to talk to the fishermen after their dialogue with Cusi.

Festin reiterated that the government has promised to provide financial assistance to the fishermen. He also acknowledged the government's effort in determining what really happened, as well as bringing justice to the affected fishermen.

He also said Vice President Leni Robredo is expected to visit the fishermen on Monday.

Cusi earlier Sunday visited San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, the hometown of the Filipino fishermen. The group and the official held a closed-door meeting there and Insigne was instructed that he will be brought to Manila on Monday.

The boat's cook, who was awake before the collision, will accompany Insigne to the meeting with Duterte.

A special Cabinet meeting was supposed to be held on Monday to discuss the West Philippine Sea incident, but the meeting was canceled by the President, according to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.