A team of Philippine investigators arrived in Taipei yesterday morning and began looking into the May 9 shooting of Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成) by Philippine Coast Guard personnel.
Meanwhile, a team of Taiwanese investigators led by Prosecutor Lin Yen-liang (林彥良) from the Pingtung District Prosecutors’ Office arrived in Manila.
The countries’ delegations were able to travel after Taipei and Manila reached an agreement on launching parallel investigations with the provision of mutual legal assistance on Sunday.
Under the agreement, each side will conduct its own inquiry, while agreeing to cooperate during the process.
The eight-member team from the Philippines, led by Daniel Deganzo, Foreign Liaison Office boss of the National Bureau of Investigation, visited the Ministry of Justice in the afternoon and held a closed-door meeting with ministry officials.
Deganzo told reporters at the ministry that “the delegation will closely cooperate with the Ministry of Justice, the Pingtung District Prosecutors’ Office and other bureaus to collect evidence about the case, and we hope the investigation can uncover the truth of the incident.”
His team then went to the ministry’s Institute of Forensic Medicine in Taipei to discuss Hung’s autopsy.
The ministry said the Philippine delegation is to go to the Pingtung District Prosecutors’ Office to evaluate evidence collected by the bureau, and is scheduled to inspect the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28, which the ministry said was hit by 45 bullets fired by Philippine Coast Guard personnel, tomorrow.
Later the same day, the delegation plans to visit National Cheng Kung University, where they will inspect the boat’s Voyage Data Recorder and other video evidence, the ministry added.
The ministry said the investigators from the Philippines are then scheduled to go to the Criminal Investigation Bureau to inspect forensic and ballistic data on the bullets retrieved from the boat.
Meanwhile, Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) said yesterday that the Philippines has agreed to allow Taiwanese investigators to board and inspect the Philippine patrol ships involved in the incident, inspect firearms used and access video recordings of the attack made by the Philippine Coast Guard.
The Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28 was operating in the overlapping exclusive economic zones of Taiwan and the Philippines when it was fired upon by personnel aboard a joint patrol of the Philippine Coast Guard and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources on May 9.