Mon, Jun 03, 2013 - Page 3 News List

‘They were laughing as they fired’ at fishing vessel

Staff writer, with CNA, MANILA

A Philippine official, who is close to the probe related to the May 9 shooting at a Taiwanese fishing boat by Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel, confirmed on Saturday for the first time that the incident took place in the overlapping economic zones between the two countries, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported yesterday.

The daily, which is one of the top three newspapers in the country, said the anonymous source had confirmed Taiwan’s claims that the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28 was attacked in the countries’ overlapping territorial waters, although it was “on the Philippine side and not on the Taiwanese side.”

Manila is insisting that the fishing vessel was attacked after it intruded into the Philippines’ territorial waters.

The paper quoted another source — who has seen a video of the incident in which Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成) was killed — telling the newspaper on Saturday that PCG personnel were laughing as they fired at the boat.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted an anonymous source as saying: “The video showed the soldiers acting unprofessionally.”

“It is disturbing and embarrassing for Philippine law enforcers,” the source added.

His statements were confirmed by two other sources who have also seen the video.

According to the PCG report on the incident, Arnold de la Cruz, the commander of the patrol vessel, “ordered his men to fire at the fishing vessel when it did not stop after several warnings.”

Investigators on both sides concluded their probes into the incident on Friday and the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila said its report will be ready in a “day or two,” according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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