Reports on shooting held up by inaction in Manila: minister

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jul 02, 2013 - Page 3

Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) said yesterday that the results of the independent investigations conducted by Taiwan and the Philippines into the fatal May 9 shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman have not been released because Manila’s report is stuck at the Philippine presidential office.

Although both sides have completed their investigations, the release of the findings is being controlled by Manila and the ministry hopes the findings would be released soon, Tseng told reporters who approached him for comment yesterday morning.

The report by the Philippines’ Nation Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been sent to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and is awaiting his approval, Tseng said.

Asked to comment on reports that the NBI report concluded that Philippine coast guard personnel used “excessive self-defense” and that two people would be charged accordingly, while Taiwanese investigators believe all eight people aboard the Philippine vessel should face charges of intentional homicide, Tseng said the ministry had not received such information.

“Manila has not told us that,” he said.

The Taiwanese fishing boat Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28 was fired upon while operating in the overlapping exclusive economic zones of the two countries. Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成), 65, was killed in the incident.

The shooting triggered a diplomatic row that led to the government imposing sanctions on the Philippines, including the suspension of hiring of Filipino migrant workers and issuing a “red” travel alert for the Philippines.

The government has also demanded that the Philippines issue a formal apology, compensate Hung’s family, punish those responsible and begin fishery talks to prevent any repetition.