Philippines asks Taiwan crewmen to attend shooting probe

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 neighbours.

"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.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lenten procession more than just a spectacle VERA Files - The Inbox

    Text and photos by Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files Baliuag, Bulacan--This town is hosting what could be the country’s biggest Lenten procession consisting of more than 100 religious statues riding on carriages or carrozas. But concerns are being raised that … Continue reading → …

  • Holy Week in Mt Banahaw: Mysticism meets Catholicism VERA Files - The Inbox

    Text and photos by Patricia Isabel Gloria, VERA Files Dolores, Quezon—Around this time each year, hundreds of devotees flock to Barangay Sta. Lucia in Dolores, Quezon on the slopes of Mount Banahaw to celebrate Holy Week. Here, mysticism meets Catholicism, … Continue reading → …

  • Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng VERA Files - The Inbox
    Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng

    By April Anne Benjamin, VERA Files San Pedro, Laguna--For 14 Maundy Thursdays now, Inding Amoranto has prayed the rosary while walking the eight-kilometer distance from her house to the Shrine of Jesus in the Holy Sepulcher in the village of … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options