A HANDOUT from the Philippine Coast Guard shows survivors of the Oct. 2 boat mishap carrying the bodies of crew members to Infanta, Pangasinan. — PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD

PHILIPPINE senators on Thursday said Marshall Islands should allow Philippine authorities to participate in its probe of the collision between an oil tanker and a fishing boat that killed three Filipino fishermen, citing the need for a swift resolution of the case and compensation for the victims’ families.

“It is possible that this incident was a pure accident,” Senator Aquilino Martin “Koko” D. Pimentel III told a hearing. “If it’s pure accident, does anyone have to go to jail? Not necessarily, but we have to compensate those damaged, and let’s not dribble or prolong this.”

The Philippine fishing boat Dearyn sank after it was rammed by the bigger vessel registered under the flag of the Marshall Islands while it was moored to a raft 85 nautical miles (157.4 kilometers) from Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, the Philippine Coast Guard said in an Oct. 4 report.

Leo M. Bolivar, a Filipino who is the deputy commissioner for maritime affairs of the Marshall Islands, told senators the Marshall Islands government is almost done with its probe of Pacific Anna, the crude oil tanker suspected of ramming the Philippine fishing boat.

“Two of our investigators have already boarded the MT Pacific Anna and if the vessel is found liable, the owners will provide compensation to the victims,” he said.

Mr. Bolivar said he would discuss Mr. Pimentel’s recommendation with other Marshall Island officials.

Pacific Anna was sailing to Singapore from Incheon in South Korea, according to ship tracking websites MarineTraffic and VesselFinder.

The Filipino crew did not see the approaching vessel because it was dark and the weather was bad, the coast guard said, citing survivors’ accounts.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. earlier said the government would hold those responsible for the incident accountable.

“Fishermen are not technologically advanced, they don’t even have radio, they don’t even have radar… If we will wait for the court to decide, this will take years,” Senator Robin Ferdinand C. Padilla told the hearing. “The collision is about a big ship and a very obsolete fishing vessel.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez