Taiwanese protest killing by Philippine forces


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Some 200 Taiwanese gathered outside the Philippines representative office in Taipei on Monday to protest the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippines coast guard in disputed waters.

Burning Philippines flags and waving banners with legends like “you can’t kill our people, you can’t insult our country,” the demonstrators demanded that the Philippines apologize for Thursday’s incident in the Bashi Strait, where Philippines coast guard personnel opened fire on a Taiwanese fishing vessel, killing 65-year-old Hung Shih-cheng. The strait is between Taiwan and the northern Philippines.

With upward of 75 police officers in attendance, Monday’s demonstration was peaceful.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has given the Philippines until Tuesday to apologize for the incident and provide compensation to the dead man’s family. If the Philippines refuses, Ma has said he will order Taiwanese representatives in Manila back to Taipei and deny Filipinos permission to work in Taiwan.

Approximately 87,000 Filipinos are employed on the island, many in the manufacturing sector, where their English language skills are seen as a boon to the island’s export-oriented high-tech industries.

The Philippines coast guard has admitted it fired the shots that killed the Taiwanese fisherman in the Bashi Strait on Thursday, but said it acted in self-defense because the Taiwanese vessel was about to ram it.

China has sought to make common cause with Taiwan against Manila, deploring the Bashi Strait shooting in harsh rhetoric that threatened to spark another diplomatic tussle between Beijing and the Philippines, a key U.S. ally.

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949 and Beijing continues to claim the democratic island as part of its territory. In recent months it has made repeated attempts to bring Taiwan onto its side in its maritime disputes with Japan and other countries in the region. Taiwan has so far resisted, reflecting its own claims of national sovereignty.

On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei reiterated China’s condemnation of the Philippines coast guard action.

“The spokesmen for the Foreign Ministry and the Taiwan Affairs Office both expressed strong indignation about the Philippines’ killing the fisherman last week,” he said. “We urged the Philippines to investigate the case thoroughly and furnish the details.”

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • kismaytami

    I bet, they’re high on met, taiwan’s #1 product.

  • DGuardian

    Taiwanese fishermen should not be intruding into Philippine waters. They even tried to attack the Philippine patrol boat when accosted by the Philippine Coast Guards. The Coast Guards fired at the Taiwanese vessel in self-defense in order to disable it and defend themselves. It was unfortunate that the Taiwanese fisherman was killed, but he should not be there in the first place, and he and his companions should not have acted belligerently and tried to attack the Philippine authorities. Why do these Red Chinese and Taiwanese continuously enter the Philippine territorial waters in order to poach? They are in the habit of stealing from the Filipinos, who are poor compared to them. They are stealing the very means of livelihood of the hapless Filipino fishermen.

    • topolcats

      There is just one thing wrong with your nationalist psychobabble… is pure unadulterated rubbish and here is why!
      The area where the unfortunate incident happened is a designated disputed area because of overlapping claims by the two countries.. it is thus correctly called No mans land or Sea, hence, the actual jurisdiction of the crime is subject to the interpretation of the individual claimants in relation to actual sovereignty.

      Therefore, your key argument/defense, (“which I do not accept”) is that it is “OK To Shoot Unarmed Fishermen)” because they are according to you are “Trespassers”?
      So much for the rule of law in the PH! I should also point out, “your arguments are that of an illiterate savage” whom it seems has no respect or knowledge of the basic tenents of international law,…you’re only point is to kill at random !

      International Law is clear on the matter however.
      If matters not, if the forces are Taiwanese or Filipino, it is an act of wanton murder and piracy when an Armed coastal ship shoots at Unharmed Fishermen!
      Not to mention the legal obligation to assist injured personnel on that stricken boat.
      This is the law of the Sea in which the PH is a signatory.

      None of which was done by the Philippine forces, in fact 52 exist holes were recorded as evidence,. being hurled at the unarmed boat peppering the whole craft,… “way beyond the realms of warning shots”.
      Moreover resisting arrests (when unarmed) is not generally a legal justification to use deadly force in any western jurisdiction! The legal test of “objective reasonableness” which defines the legal use of deadly force can hardly be applied to 4 scared Unharmed Taiwanese on a colourful boat?, given the unharmed boat was fleeing the armed Filipino bandits, the Ph crew obviously hell bent on killing all the fishermen on board to leave no evidence of the crime…..the 3 surviving crew members were only saved due to the intervention of other Taiwanese boats.. sheer luck !

      In my view, it would be untenable to believe (as the Filipinos are saying) “actually unbelievable”, that a small brightly decorated Taiwanese fishing boat with 4 unharmed people would dare ram a large coastal patrol boat 5 or 6 times it size, steel plated, armed to the teeth with 50 cal machinegun,manned by a vicious pirate crew clothed in the uniform of the Ph Government, then after the purported attempt at ramming(according to the Filipinos?) we are to believe the stricken boat would then make a great escape at full speed after trying to ram the armed Ph ship? .. all the while being fired upon by the heavy guns of the Ph coastal boat in retreat ? Sounds highly unplausible to me! This Taiwanese boat would certainly be called “the mouse that roared” if we were foolish enough to believe the Ph version?

      The likely scenario,(as all Asian seamen understand), is the Armed Philippines coastal boat with its impoverished badly paid crew, were as they have been doing for years,…. partaking in fulltime piracy on the high seas with the express extension of boasting their meager income by robbing those fishermen of cash and catch…….sadly it went wrong again as it did in 2000 and 2006 leading to another tragic death in 2013……Suffice to say those Filipino bandits must be stopped!

      • looterman

        I think you’re both wrong. We Americans have a saying, “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight”. Let’s give the Taiwanese the benefit of the doubt by saying, “Oh, those poor fishermen. They didn’t deserve that.” Now, let’s give the PH Coast Guard credit where credit is due.
        Because the poor Taiwanese fishermen saw “The Sheriff” coming,
        The PH came in a marked patrol vehicle wearing uniforms and were given authority by their government to use deadly force.
        It really doesn’t matter whether those “poor fishermen” were carrying fishing poles or fishing knives, because they were instructed to leave and understood the authority behind those words, That’s why the authority comes bearing insignias, patches, banners and flags.
        The “poor fishermen” were defiant then events escalated and a life was lost. Whether that life was forfeited or lost is yet to be determined. It is an unfortunate situation.

        But sushi happens.

  • $18209031

    The Strait of Luzon is the migration route of pacific tunas . This is rich fishing ground mga parekoykoys. Taiwan will not backdown on this incident. This is a test of nerves kaya saan na ang mga additional gunboats ng PCG to supplement the presence of PHilippine patrols?

    This water passage is going to be the next flashpoint in SE Asia. Akala sa mga eksperto the first salvo will be at south China Sea pero hindi pala. The local PCG made the first salvo of this new conflict.

    • Bulakenyo Ako

      Its not about the test of nerves but about delicadeza unless your a patay gutom

      • looterman

        Dude. I don’t know what you said but I think you might have just body slammed him and dumped battery acid on his testicles with that part about “Patay Gutom Dorobo”.

        Am I close?

  • Rodolfo Corneja

    mga kabayan , i think it is only proper for us to apologize to the family of that unfortunate dead fisherman , the proper way to handle incedent like that is the firing must be on the air ,not to aim directly to the boat , it is really barbaric to shoot an unarmed opponents , ,it is beyond the norms of a dignified combat action , a real wariors give opponents a good chance to defend himself if he is still capable , or are we classified as cowards, mind you , only cowards shoot helpless opponents , ,

  • Guest

    Rodolfo, mawalang galang lang… under investigation pa ho. Our coastguard are also depending our territory.

    Sa opinion ko, tama nading i-ban papuntang Taiwan ang mga Pinoys kung yan ang gusto ng Taiwanese. Ano tuwing sila ang may na-agrabyado eh lagi nalang mananakot o mang-bully sa PH. Let’s stand on this!

  • Marx Louis Wang

    The title said “forces” and the article said the incident happened in Bashi Channel. WRONG WRONG WRONG… I am starting to think Associated Press is not accurate.

  • looterman

    We have a saying in America. “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight”.
    It comes from the old west. You know? The “Cowboy days”.
    Back when “bembang” was a nickel and men carried on like
    real men and not like a bunch of “Kikis”.
    The Filipinos should adopt a saying too.

    “Don’t bring a fishing knife to a gun fight”.
    Because Sushi happens.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos