Philippines asks Taiwan crewmen to attend shooting probe

A+
A
A-

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – A Philippine panel preparing homicide charges against the country’s coastguards over the death of a Taiwanese fisherman has formally asked his fellow crewmen to appear before it, Manila’s justice secretary said Sunday.

Those asked to appear before the justice department investigation were the three companions of slain fisherman Hung Shih-cheng, whose shooting death at sea in May badly damaged relations between the neighbors.

“The panel of prosecutors subpoenaed them through TECO,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima told AFP.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) is the de facto Taiwan embassy in Manila.

The presence of the three was necessary for them to “subscribe and swear to their affidavits” about the incident, de Lima said.

The three were requested to appear on September 9, but it was not immediately clear whether the Taiwan government had responded to the request.

The Philippines and Taiwan began repairing a serious diplomatic rift after Filipino authorities in August recommended homicide charges against the coastguards following pressure from Taiwan.

That move was welcomed by the Taiwanese government, which reciprocated by lifting a ban on the hiring of new Filipino workers on the island.

Some 87,000 Filipinos work in Taiwan, according to official figures.

The May 9 incident occurred in waters near an island in the Philippines’ extreme north, which Taiwan also claims as part of its economic zone.

Hung, 65, was killed when the coastguards opened fire on the small vessel he was crewing with his son and two others.

The killing was described by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou as “cold-blooded murder”, and his government had previously rejected official apologies from Manila and demanded criminal charges against the coastguards.

The coastguards had defended their action, and said they fired because the Taiwanese vessel tried to ram their vessel.

But a 40-minute video of the incident released by the justice department showed the Taiwanese vessel had not acted threateningly but only tried to escape before the shooting started.

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

  • OpinionChan

    Yes yes subject those 3 survivors to even more psychological distress why don’t you. A subpoena can be conducted through telephone with translators/lawyers present.

    • walaywalay

      only in a 4th world country can anyone be subpena to give court testimony –which is a sworn signed statement-over the phone

      BS EXCUSE>> The coastguards had defended their action, and said they fired because the Taiwanese vessel TRIED TO RAM their vessel.

      In October 2012, a U.S. Coast Guard vessel reportedly spotted a Mexican fishing boat north of the country’s maritime border with America, about 4.5 nautical miles off the coast of Texas. According to Coast Guard officials, this is just one example of many wherein residents of Mexico move into U.S. waters to fish illegally.

      The captain of the vessel in question, Pedro Morales-Hidalgo, allegedly fled as the Coast Guard boat approached, attempting to cross back into Mexican waters, despite verbal warnings in Spanish and English and sirens from the American vessel. According to court documents, Morales-Hidalgo “made several ‘corkscrew’ maneuvers in an attempt to escape and USED HIS VESSEL TO RAM THE US COAST GUARD in an attempt to disable its outboard engines” before he was apprehended. DID RAM!!
      STILL NO BULLETS!!
      The Coast Guard was finally able to stop the fishing vessel by pulling its fuel line
      WIRE CUTTERS—NOT 50 BULLETS!!!!!

      After his arrest and an investigation of the incident, Morales-Hidalgo pleaded guilty to “failing to heave to a Coast Guard vessel” in mid-January. The 43-year-old Mexican man said that he fled because he knew that he was fishing illegally, and that both he and his catch could be seized.

      • OpinionChan

        You are very brave indeed. If pirates in uniform wanted to board your ship you would no doubt stop and welcome them aboard with open arms. Your coastguard are no different from pirates. Bunch of thugs and thieves. Sound familiar? You are probably one of JLN sympathizers.

      • walaywalay

        HUH? how did the US Coast Guard get involved in this charade? we seldom even shoot over bows–bullets skip on water
        BUT lets examine your illogical logic
        TRUE–pirates can steal uniforms and impersonate RPCG
        BUT WHERE DID THEY STEAL THAT 378 FT LONG EX US COAST GUARD CUTTER??????

  • regd

    And I’m guessing they will be escorted to court by our police? Boy oh boy, wait till they hear about the ‘agaw-baril’ witnesses scenario!

  • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

    THese three will never be safe once they arrive in Pinas. THey have to have escorts 24 hrs a day and their location and faces remain hidden. THe PCG and their supporters will take these witnesses.

    • walaywalay

      That would be the beginning of the end for 87,000 ofw in Taiwan not to mention the PCG on the high seas would be fair game for the modern Tai navy target practice–it would be the worst thing to happen to the RP since WW2–Then while the RP is consumed with dealing with US ally Taiwan–US would stay out–China would increase the number of islands to occupy—sad situation

      • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

        You dont know how the criminal syndicates operate in the AFP including the PCG. These people can make it happen kaya dapat they have to guard those three witnesses in undisclosed location . Only the trusted guards must be detailed to guard them , or else a whole can of worms can happen.

      • walaywalay

        you have a problem with following a conversation—for instance—show us one and all where I even remotely suggested that these 3 lives where safe in the hands of the AFP?

        You can find no such absurd suggestion in my post
        I simply suggested a possible outcome for such an action to occur—not that it would/could not occur–blow back–Newtons law of relativity

      • Punyëtero»Ka

        Intrigador talagang apo ni Hudas na ito! Sir Pervert, galit ka pa rin sa pagkakahuli ng shabu factory mo ano?

    • Punyëtero»Ka

      Alam naming apo ka ni Hudas at shabu-lord noon. You will take all opportunity to thumb down the country because you were deported when your lab was shut down. Sayang nakatakbo ka galing Batanes!

  • hello stupids

    Philippines finally got it right

  • opinyonlangpo

    This is old news. The PCG is sacrificial lamb for OFWs and PH-Taiwan relationship. So be it.

    • walaywalay

      WRONG–7 of the 8 are sacrificed for the 8ths actions—the 8th being the commander who gave the order to shoot–the US did a similar action but not as drama drama as the RP in giving up 7 additional–1968 My Lai Vietnam–there where many US troops involved in that massacre but only 1 gave the order to shoot and it sure was not Lt Calley–I blamed Capt Medina who ordered Calley to My Lai and to ”kill everything” 500 died

      –still Calley took the fall but not his entire platoon which was doing what soldiers where trained to do–follow orders without question—this is 1 mans fault—the CMDR–his order alone caused the death

      • opinyonlangpo

        Have you read the Balintang Channel report, it is just 80 pages? I did. I will not say you are right or wrong, I am no judge for that. The PCG follows some protocols, one might as well blame the people who made them, maybe those people are dead now and your PCG commander is being blamed for that, pitiful.

      • walaywalay

        Yes i read that and think that–on the position issue-with no equipment-where the Tai ship was could in itself be debatable and to point to the fact they ran so they are guilty then LACSON JOCJOC HOSANASON are all guilty yet cleared by the RPSC–bottom line the RPCG was under no threat of deadly bodily harm that warranted the use of deadly force–the penalty for poaching is not death
        STILL to charge all 8 is WRONG only 1 gave the order to shoot and only he should answer for that order

  • walaywalay

    ?????> A Philippine panel preparing homicide charges >> has formally asked HIS fellow crewmen to appear before it

    HIS? SO THE RPCG ADMIRAL IS THE LEAD PROSECUTOR??????? THE RPCG IS PROSECUTING ITSELF????

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

advertisement

popular

advertisement

videos