NBI: Philippine coast guards liable

Raps poised in Taiwanese fisher’s slay

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The National Bureau of Investigation has recommended the filing of criminal charges against the Filipino coast guards involved in the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman in northern Philippine waters last month, the Inquirer learned on Tuesday.

A source, who has knowledge of the investigation of the incident but asked not to be identified because he has no authority to speak on the matter, declined to say whether murder or homicide charges had been recommended.

But the source said there was a debate on whether to bring murder charges against the coast guards, as “superior strength” was used “against an unarmed civilian,” or homicide, as the shooting death of fisherman Hung Shih-chen was “not premeditated.”

The source said the NBI report on the investigation of Hung’s death had been submitted to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

“It is a thin report, because the annexes have yet to be forwarded to [Secretary De Lima],” the source said.

The report, according to the source, includes the identities of the coast guards who fired their rifles at Hung’s fishing boat in waters off Balintang Island on May 9.

Shooter identified

It also contains the identity of the coast guard who fired the bullet that killed Hung, the source said.

The shooter was identified through a cross-match between the slug recovered from Hung’s body during autopsy and the signature of the coast guard’s M14 rifle.

The shooting happened in Philippine waters, as the Philippine Coast Guard stated in its report on the incident submitted to the NBI, the source said.

The source said the incident took place within 79.2 kilometers of Philippine territory and 316.8 km from Taiwanese territory.

No attempt to ram

But the Coast Guard’s claim that the fishing boat Guan Ta Hsin 28 tried to ram the coastal patrol vessel MCS-3001 was disproved, the source said.

The Coast Guard claimed that the fishing boat’s hostile move was the reason for its officers’ firing at the vessel, aiming for the engine to make it stop.

But the NBI report says the results of the ballistic tests and trajectory examination on the fishing boat showed the shooters did not know where the engine was, the source said.

Diplomatic row

Hung’s family has brought murder charges against the Philippine Coast Guard in Pingtung County District Attorney’s Office in southern Taiwan and with the NBI team of investigators who traveled there last month for the Philippine probe of Hung’s death.

The shooting death of the fisherman sparked a major diplomatic row between Taiwan and the Philippines.

Taiwan demanded an official apology from the Philippine government, compensation for Hung’s family and punishment for the shooters.

To pressure the Philippines into complying, Taiwan froze new jobs in Taiwan for Filipino migrant workers and suspended tourist travel to the Philippines and trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

President Aquino apologized for the shooting death of Hung, but Taiwan rejected his apology because of his description of the killing as “unintended” and an “unfortunate loss of life.”

Cooperate

The two countries, however, agreed to cooperate in the investigation of Hung’s death.

A team of Taiwanese investigators traveled to Manila to examine the coast guards’ weapons, interview them, and see their own video of the chase between their vessel and Hung’s fishing boat.

An NBI team traveled to Taiwan, examined Hung’s boat, interviewed its crew, and studied the Taiwanese coroner’s autopsy report.

The two teams agreed to release their findings separately.

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  • David Yuan

    The Filipinos are good people, friendly, generous, religious and well-behaved. I noticed that when I was in Taiwan and I admired their good behavior (what I saw at the church and this something the Taiwanese can REALLY learn from for some of them are snobbish).

    The Taiwan government blundered with the ultimatum and the sanctions.

    Taiwan and the Philippines traditionally have been good neighboring countries.

    I wish this unfortunate incident would soon be over and both countries and peoples resume their cooperation and friendship.

    • DarkJustice

      Agree on that… It is an unfortunate event that led to a death of a fisherman.

  • pugadlawin

    Ayusin ng gobyerno ang sarili nyang tao, hindi dapat magkatunggali ang NBI at PCG. Magkaisa tayo!

  • Marx Louis Wang

    kung ang pangulo mo ay mongo..whatever… ISA KANG DAKILANG TANGENGOT DAHIL WALA KA NAMANG NAGAWANG MABUTI KUNDI MAGLASING SA KANTO.

  • turkak

    tanga mo Marlou si tabing ilog may ebidensya na may sira sa utak ang abnoy na pangulo, ito ay nailathala sa Philippine tribune ayon sa isang paring psychologist na si Fr. James Bulatao ng Ateneo. Pero ikaw na bogok ay walang ebidensiya na tangengot at lasengo sa kanto si tabing ilog. Baliw ka rin mag-isip tulad ni noynoy abnoy ung idolo mo. hahahahaha

  • Marx Louis Wang

    mas lalo kang tanga!!! tingnan mo likes mo zero, ang dislikes mo 5! sa pangalang mo na lang magigimbal ang buong bayan!

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