Locsin returns Del Rosario's ₱500,000 donation to fishermen sunk by Chinese vessel

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 24) — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr. on Monday said he returned donations to the fishermen in the Recto Bank incident which was made by one of his predecessors, Albert del Rosario, through their department.

"I have to return the ₱500,000 check donation or I shall be compelled to turn it over to Treasury. DFA cannot dispense donations. I certainly won't turn it over to another department; that's malversation," Locsin said in a tweet.

Del Rosario made the donations to the 22 Filipino fishermen from the F/B Gem-Ver boat, which sank after a Chinese vessel rammed into it last June 9. The former top diplomat handed over the donations ten days later.

Locsin, however, thanked Del Rosario for his offer to the fishermen.

"Hi Albert, I tried really hard to use the check as you intend but all monies not used by DFA for itself go to Treasury," he said in a separate tweet.

The Office of the Vice President, through their program Angat Buhay, donated ₱50,000 to each fisherman. The Duterte administration had given out fiberglass boats and loaned ₱25,000 to each fishermen of the F/B Gem-Ver.

The Philippines and China have agreed to conduct a joint investigation into what happened in the Recto Bank boat mishap, amid criticisms and doubts on the results of the probe.