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.

  • What can void a new car warranty? James Deakin - Wheel Power
    What can void a new car warranty?

    "I was denied warranty once for changing my horn!" One very annoyed reader wrote. "I was told that placing a backup camera will void my warranty" said another. The others are best left in my private inbox as Yahoo! have a swear jar in the office that I do not feel like donating this week's pay to. Continue reading → …

  • Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin B. Tacadena, VERA Files “Gutom (hunger),” Sen. Loren Legarda said is what’s in store for the Filipino people if destruction of the country's marine resources is not stopped. Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on Environment and Natural … Continue reading → …

  • ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark VERA Files - The Inbox
    ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark

    By Jane Dasal, VERA Files If you want to save the earth, build a boat. That's what a group of environmentalists is saying, especially if you want to save both the forests and fishermen affected by supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan). “Haiyan … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options