Money sent by the Chinese community in the Philippines to the family of the Taiwanese fisherman who was killed by Philippine Coast Guard personnel earlier this month was refused by the victim’s family and the money was instead donated to the National Fishermen’s Association’s maritime relief fund to provide for families of victims of other maritime incidents.
On Wednesday, Friends of the Philippines Foundation chairman Jose Kho (許明良) and other people in the Philippines donated NT$5 million (US$172,900) to the families of Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成) — who was shot dead on May 9 after his boat was strafed by a Philippine Coast Guard vessel — and Chen An-lao (陳安老), who was shot dead while his 62-year-old brother, Chen Ming-te (陳明德), was badly wounded in an incident in 2006.
Chen’s widow, Chen Cheng Wen-tzu (陳鄭文子), expressed her gratitude for the NT$2.5 million donation, saying it was the largest amount given to the family since the death of her husband.
Chen’s daughter, Chen Hsing-lan (陳幸蘭), said her family suffered a heavy financial blow from the death of her father and the severe injury to her uncle in the 2006 incident, adding that they did not receive any assistance from the government except for NT$50,000 as a condolence payment.
Two Philippine police officers who were charged with the murder of Chen An-lao seven years ago have failed to report to court in Taiwan to stand trial. They are to remain on the wanted list of the Taitung District Court until 2044.
Meanwhile, Hung’s family declined to accept the donation, saying all they want is an official apology from the Philippine government.
“We are thankful that society has kept us in mind, but such concern would be put to better use helping those who need it,” Hung’s niece Hung Feng-hui (洪鳳慧) said, adding that the family only wants justice.
Meanwhile, Kho said he was very grateful to Taiwanese as he had been on the receiving end of aid when his ship was caught in a typhoon out at sea five years ago.
Kho, whose foundation comprises more than 30 overseas Chinese businessmen operating in the Philippines, said he started the fundraising effort when he heard of the incident concerning Hung.