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Lorenzana raises Recto Bank incident in ASEAN defense ministers’ meet

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana raised the issue of the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat by a Chinese vessel near the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea in a meeting of top Association of Southeast Asian Nations defense officials last week.

The Department of National Defense said yesterday Lorenzana took the opportunity to talk about the issue in front of other defense ministers during the 13th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting from July 10 to 12 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The meeting was attended by the delegates of defense ministries of ASEAN member-states Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam with Thailand as the host country.

During the meeting, Lorenzana thanked Vietnam for rescuing the 22-member crew of the fishing vessel and hailed the adoption of ADMM Guidelines for Maritime Interaction “to prevent similar incidents from occurring again.”

Aside from the ADMM Guidelines for Maritime Interaction, the ministers also adopted key documents during the top-level meet “that will guide and further enhance the ADMM process and engagement.” (Martin Sadongdong)