Pathologist wraps up testimony in shooting of Taiwanese fisherman
A Taiwanese forensic pathologist has wrapped up his testimony on the examination he did on a fisherman who was killed during a confrontation with members of the Philippine Coast Guard off the coast of Balintang Channel in Northern Luzon in 2013.
Assistant Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera said Dr. Pan Zhi Xin concluded his testimony regarding the cause of death and the fact of death of the victim, Hung Shih-Chen.
The hearing was done before the Manila Regional Trial Court after the Supreme Court allowed the transfer of trial venue from the Batanes RTC to Manila on the request of the accused Coast Guard personnel.
After the pathologist, Navera said next to take the stand was Chen Yen Ting, a firearms examiner from Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau.
Navera said Chen’s testimony was not completed due to lack of time. His testimony will continue on the next hearing on August 3 and 4 and September 7 and 8.
The prosecutor said hey would be presenting 10 more Taiwanese technical witnesses.
So far, the prosecution has presented three witnesses. The first witness was the victim’s son, Hung Yu-Chih, who told the court about the circumstances of the chase and the PCG personnel’s firing on their fishing vessel-Guang Da Xing 28. He also related how they were rescued by Taiwanese fishing boats and coast guard after their boat drifted off.
He said he could not ascertain their vessel’s exact position at the time of the shooting since the Global Positioning System of their vessel and the hydraulic pumps were damaged in the incident.
Respondents-Commander Arnold Enrique dela Cruz, Seamen 1st Class Edrando Quiapo Aguila, Mhelvin Aguilar Bendo II, Andy Gibb Ronario Golfo, Sunny Galang Masangkay and Henry Baco Solomon, Seaman 2nd Class Nickey Reynold Aurellio and Petty Officer 2 Richard Fernandez Corpuz all pleaded not guilty to the case.
They said they were only forced to shoot at the Taiwanese vessel in self-defense after it tried to ram their ship and refused to stop for boarding inspection despite repeated warning.
They also claimed the Taiwanese were poaching in the country’s territorial waters and were trying to flee when accosted by the BFAR patrol ship.
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