DOJ summons foreign witnesses to killing probe

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MANILA, Philippines—Government prosecutors are seeking the appearance in the Philippines on Sept. 9 of two Taiwanese nationals and an Indonesian for the preliminary investigation into a homicide complaint filed against the Philippine Coast Guard for the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman in May.

The prosecutors from the Department of Justice wrote Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco) Chair Amadeo Perez seeking help in serving the subpoenas on the three foreigners regarded as the offended parties or witnesses to the fatal shooting of Hung shih-Cheng as their boat passed through the Balintang Channel.

Hung was killed when Philippine Coast Guard personnel aboard a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources monitoring vessel fired at the Taiwanese fishing boat.

“In the interest of substantial justice and procedural due process, we respectfully request the assistance of your good office to serve our attached subpoenas and notices to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, for (it) to serve them to (these) persons,”  Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera and Alexander Suarez said in their Aug. 23 letter to Perez.

The prosecutors said they wanted the three foreigners to personally appear at the first hearing set for Sept. 9 at the DOJ office in Manila and formally enter their affidavits.

Asked to appear at the DOJ were Taiwanese nationals Hong Yu Zhi and Hong Jie Zhang, and Indonesian Imam Buchaeri.

Also expected to appear are the PCG personnel charged with homicide as well as investigators of the National Bureau of Investigation.

The NBI had filed the homicide complaints against eight PCG men, including commanding officer Arnold de la Cruz.

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