DOE: Reed Bank incident should not divide Filipinos
This is to provide clarification on the editorial, “In aid of Beijing” (6/18/19), regarding Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi’s visit to San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, on Sunday, June 16.
Secretary Cusi went to Occidental Mindoro in his capacity as Cabinet officer for regional development and security (Cords) for Region IV-B (Mimaropa). Part of his responsibility as the Cords is to “assist the President in the speedy, efficient and orderly resolution of problems in government operations in his/her assigned region.”
In this instance, he visited San Jose to express the sympathy and concern of President Duterte over the fate of our 22 fishermen during the Reed Bank incident on June 9, as well as to give them assurances of help and support from the government. Moreover, the secretary also wanted to personally hear the side of the fishermen and gather more information on what truly transpired so that the President would be apprised accordingly.
As part of efforts to learn as much as possible on what had truly transpired on the day of the incident, Secretary Cusi asked lots of questions and posed various possibilities, which were regrettably misinterpreted to be of ill intent and have been told in such a way that made him appear dismissive of the fishermen’s account of events, or that he was absolving the other party from any liability.
Nevertheless, we cannot let this unfortunate event, which has struck a chord with each and every Filipino, to allow us to fall prey to divisiveness. Now more than ever, we have to stand as a united nation.
JAVERRI BO T. BULLOCK
Head of Public Affairs
Department of Energy
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