The captain of the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28 fishing boat, Hung Yu-chih (洪育智), appeared in a Philippine court yesterday to testify in the prosecution of eight Philippine Coast Guard personnel charged with killing his father in May last year.
Ministry of Justice officials said Hung has been told by Philippine authorities that his safety would be ensured at a hearing at the Batanes Regional Trial Court.
His father, Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成), died in a shooting on May 9 when Philippine Coast Guard personnel onboard a Philippine government vessel — the MCS-3001 — opened fire on his fishing boat, in waters where the exclusive economic zones of the two nations overlap.
Taipei and Manila concluded parallel investigations in August last year into the incident and concluded that eight Philippine Coast Guard personnel onboard the MCS-3001 were involved in Hung’s death. His son was onboard the boat at the time of the incident.
Hung Yu-chih arrived in Manila with his lawyer on Friday last week. They flew to Batanes Province on Sunday to attend a court hearing scheduled for yesterday and today, Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials said.
The eight people facing criminal charges are: Commanding Officer Arnold Enriquez dela Cruz; first-class seamen Edrando Quiapo Aguila, Mhelvin Aguilar Bendo II, Andy Gibb Ronario Golfo, Sunny Galang Masangcay and Henry Baco Solomon; second-class seaman Nicky Renold Aurello; and petty officer Richard Fernandez Corpuz.
If convicted, each of the eight charged could receive a prison sentence of between 12 and 20 years.
An investigation into the incident alleged that Aguila fired the shot that killed Hung Shih-cheng, but prosecutors believe that all eight suspects acted in concert.
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