Here are the steps that need to be taken to resolve the 2019 Reed Bank Incident involving Yuemaobinyu 42212 and F/B Gem-Vir 1

Rather than achieve clarity surrounding the the Reed Bank “collision” incident the media and the “thought leaders” of the Opposition have been pretty much useless. Therefore it falls on the more intelligent participants in the Philippines’ political discourse to chart a way forward. First thing is to define objectives.

The case involves only three considerations:

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(i) The legality of the presence of the Chinese vessel Yuemaobinyu 42212 in Reed Bank on the 9th June 2019. Reed Bank is an area of dispute between the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China (PROC) but, following a 2016 ruling issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, is considered part of the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). As such, there is strong reason to assert that Yuemaobinyu 42212 was sailing unauthorised in Philippine waters at the time of the incident.

(ii) The true nature of the encounter between Yuemaobinyu 42212 and the Filipino fishing boat F/B Gem-Vir 1 which sailed from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on the 29th May 2019, with 22 crewmen led by Captain Junel Insigne. Was the collision intentional (i.e., a “ramming”)? Did F/B Gem-Vir 1 actually sink?

(iii) The existing extradition treaty between the PROC and the Philippines. Article 1 of this extradition treaty stipulates that China and the Philippines “agree to extradite to each other […] any person who is found in the territory of the requested Party and who is wanted by the requesting Party for prosecution or for the imposition or enforcement of a sentence in respect of an offense described in Article 2”. According to Article 2, such an offense is one “punishable under the laws of both Parties by imprisonment for a period of more than one year, or by a more severe penalty.”

In considering these three things, the steps the Philippines, the aggrieved party, need to take become quite clear.

(1) Mount a criminal investigation and court procedure that leads to a proper ruling issued by a Philippine Court. An earlier article, cites how a similar initiative being undertaken by the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has resulted in the identification of four suspects responsible for the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in 2014. The JIT now plans to charge and prosecute them within the Netherlands’ own criminal justice system. In the case of the Philippines, the job is already half-done. The Chinese vessel had been positively-identified, and an investigation had reportedly already been completed by the Philippine Coast Guard.

(2) If there is sufficient evidence based on the investigation to prosecute the captain and crew of Yuemaobinyu 42212, the case could be tried in a Philippine Court. In the example of the MH17 case, the JIT has resolved to proceed with the trial “with or without” the accused being physically present in considering the refusal of the Russian government to cooperate.

(3) If prosecution is successful, file a request to extradite the captain and crew of Yuemaobinyu 42212 from China. Under the extradition treaty, China can opt to refuse to extradite its nationals. However, it would be in the interest of both the Chinese and Philippine governments to cooperate on this matter. Both governments insist that the incident is too small to harm their existing bilateral relationship so it makes sense, if the case is contained and managed in the way thus far described here, to have this incident satisfactorily resolved through due process as quickly as possible. China turns over the crew of Yuemaobinyu 42212 to the Philippines, the Philippines prosecutes and subjects them to a Philippine court and, if found guilty, are locked away in a Philippine prison (to be eventually forgotten). Everybody comes out happy and friends.

To be fair, this leaves unresolved the issue of why Yuemaobinyu 42212 was illegally in Reed Bank to begin with. But that’s business as usual between China and the Philippines whether or not its fateful collision with F/B Gem-Vir 1 happened or not. The important thing is that the “2019 Reed Bank Incident” be treated as a discrete case subject to a specific resolution.

13 Replies to “Here are the steps that need to be taken to resolve the 2019 Reed Bank Incident involving Yuemaobinyu 42212 and F/B Gem-Vir 1”

  1. Ignore the idiocy of the Yellow Liberal Commies and opportunistic politicians like Poe, Ping, and Gordon when they are trying to escalate a “Civilian” maritime incident into involving the Mutual Defense Treaty with the US. Most of all, Duterte needs to hold firm and ignore the stupid emotional screeching by immature jingoistic Filipinos who are brave patriots enough to scream for blood against China while having a short term memory on what happened during 2010 and 2013.

    1. It seems strange that you’re always not in agreement with everyone else, so what’s your agenda? With things unfolding, what’s your end game?

      1. And you no suspicions what so ever that an issue like this is being put front and center while having political opportunists to force Duterte’s hand in doing a hotheaded action that does nothing but escalate the situation while washing their hands off by saying they’re brave Filipino Patriots? I’m not liking that tone of questioning of yours, “Agenda” and “End Game”, my agenda is have the Philippines be neutral and take a realistic stance on Foreign Policy, not have issues like a rude Chinese tourist being arrested be in front page news for the whole week, and when you have issues in the local country ranging from a Communist and Islamic rebellions that have been raging for almost half a century, it’s laughable to think that there are bloodthirsty jingoistic idiots who want the Government and the AFP to launch military action and die to protect a piece of the ocean that is being claimed by other parties while calling it “Fascist Dictatorship”, if you do not call that Politicization, then you’re a two-faced hypocrite.

        Let me put a refresher to the gold fish memory of the people then, 2010 the Manila Hostage Crisis where the Philippines showed the world how incompetent and idiotic it is, The Government being called indecisive, unapologetic, and refusing to give an apology, taking responsibility and given compensation to the victims till the next administration along with the average Filipino civilian taking selfies on the crime scene and Hong Kongers calling us monsters. 2013, Taiwanese fishing boat was attacked by a Philippine Coastguard, did anyone remember that many Filipino took the side of the Patrol Boat crew when they said they only fired on that fishing boat because they “rammed” the patrol boat? even burned the Taiwanese flag with that stunt by that idiot Abner Afuang did, some called China and Taiwan the same? that level of xenophobia was quashed when video evidence was shown that the brave coastguard was laughing while shooting at the fishing boat, and an apology and compensation came only after Taiwan launched sanctions to the Philippines? Because these two examples are what these jingoistic morons are saying are the proper course of action in International Relations and Geopolitics for the Philippines.

        And if you’re asking about my “End Game” I’m telling the idiots who say “We should not forget the past, to repeat the same mistakes in the future” is that they’re barely remembering what happened last month before launching this pathetic excuse of a political drama and media blitz. I’m witnessing the same idiocy that people are falling for, same emotional drivel while having priorities that extend is following the same bandwagon as the other loud jingoistic morons who want generalize and declare by guilt of association that a Civilian maritime incident was ordered by the heads of Beijing for no apparent reason than to bully the poor Filipino fishermen who still haven’t filed an affidavit or complaint while having more and more credibility issues when they just talk to the same Bikoy Politicians and Media rags. Is this answer enough for you and others?

    2. by the way, why is hongkong so important for morales and del rosario? do they have a huge bank account there and wants to transfer it anywhere else?

  2. There is no possibility that China, will surrender the crew of the boat, that rammed the Filipino fisherman’s boat at the Reed Bank. Even, with the extradition treaty; and investigation of the Philippine government.

    China is powerful militarily and economically. It will not be humiliated by a third world country like the Philippines. The purpose of the “useless niuse” of the opposition, is to foment activism, to give more trouble to the Duterte administration.

    China grabbed the Scarborough Shoals. The Philippine went to the “toothless ICC”, for arbitration. The Scarborough shoal was expanded, using Philippine mountains as landfills; and is now a China Military Base…an “unsinkable AirCraft Carrier”, aligned to the “heart of the Philippines. And, we cannot do anything about it.

    On the other hand; the two traitors: Pnoy Aquino and Trillanes, who did a “backdoor negotiation” with the Chinese to sell the Scarborough shoal and the Philippine mountains as landfills, are now enjoying their loots, and covering their tracks, with the “Reed Bank Collision incident”…

    Surely the fake mainstream media, will use this incident to give us more Fake News !

  3. Nice blog that you’d made it @benign0 and you’d almost made it right on the issue of Recto/Reed Bank incident that had happened last June 9, 2019 but I would like to show you a link that I’d read it from RJ Nieto’s Thinking Pinoy Facebook page that he have a complete details & explanations on the said incident:

    And also I would like to make a comment on the 21 Filipino fishermen & their cook of F/B Gem-Vir 1 who went to Reed/Recto Bank & been rammed by a Chinese fishing boat, and as what RJ Nieto said on his FB post that those crew of F/B Gem-Vir 1 didn’t complied on the 1972 Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) in which our country had adopted it in 2013:

    And now here’s the BIG question, if our country was a signatory of COLREGS & been adopted it to our country in 2013, did those 22 Filipino crews of F/B Gem-Vir 1 really knew about that law or if someone had informed to them that they should follow it before they should go to the sea & pursue their fishing activity on the Reed/Recto Bank? I DOUBT THEY DON’T!!! ?

    1. Thanks. And there you go. Follow the proper procedure and the pertinent facts will emerge. The key takeaway from TPs piece is that the Opposition and the fishermen they advised focused more on getting media attention rather than going through all that due diligence.

      The important thing is that the truth be learned, whether that be in favour of one party or the other.

      1. It’s been getting real tiresome when this a media blitz by the same rags who did it in 2012, and you hear from politicians who have the ambitions in 2022 that they’re jumping towards the issue and making it more about them than the truth, the typical yellows, Hontiveros and Robredo, mercenary politicians like Poe, Ping and Gordon telling the President to threaten to invoke the MDT with the US, without critical thinking and knowledge of international law, they unironically implying the incident was military aggression, so good luck getting US help like what they tried to do in 2012, who also helped us lose effective control of Scarborough Shoal. And there’s also the issues with the President’s subordinates giving conflicting reports and opening their mouths with their personal opinions.

        And the Chinese side needs to investigate and punish the neglect of the Chinese crew, and make the pay compensation, because in 2013 the Government punished the Philippine Coastguard crew who gunned down a Taiwanese fisherman and paid compensation, but they were never extradited for trial to Taiwan.

        Lastly, de-escalation, there’s several claimants, us included. who are calling ownership of much of the South China Sea and resource-rich Spratly’s, have all parties adhere to humanitarian aid when sea mishaps and incidents happen, I do not want Duterte and the Philippines to ignite a regional crisis while whole World watches and because a bunch of propagandist and jingoistic media rags.

      2. Yes, so there needs to be a shift away from trial-by-media to a culture where there is more reliance on institutional processes to get things done. Even with elections, for example, candidates put more effort in attempts to co-opt these by using the media to sensationalise their issues and platforms (if any) rather than intelligently engaging voters.

  4. Since China does not recognize the arbitral ruling, I presume its position is that the Chinese ship was not in the contested waters illegally. Therefore, China was well within its bounds to be where its ships went. The collision/ramming incident appeared questionable, the reason I think the Philippines is harping on the violation of the international treaty by the Chinese for abandoning the Filipino fishermen in distress. It seems very unlikely that China would yield to the demands of an extradition treaty and surrender the Chinese crew. Doing so is implicit admission of guilt.

  5. Put the local fishermen on trial, give them lawyers, I’m sure there’s a lot in the opposition who would be willing to represent them, if all goes well and they are found not at fault then they can sue the Chinese government for damages.
    The Chinese if there ever is a trial is entirely of their own affair and might counter sue, but we got a lot of heavy(not fat) lawyers ready to show their knowledge of the law, di ba?

    1. They have been given Government aid, and an investigation is on-going, but you’re gonna have to ask, what charges will they bring against the Chinese trawling boat? along with them being non-committal in giving an affidavit.

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