Family of slain fisherman still awaiting an apology

FIRST THINGS FIRST::Hung Shih-cheng’s family said that they would not discuss the compensation promised until receiving the apology. Fishery talks are in the works

Staff writer, with CNA

Sun, Jul 07, 2013 - Page 3

The family of the Taiwanese fisherman shot dead by Philippine Coast Guard officers while fishing in disputed waters in May said on Friday that their stance remained unchanged, demanding that the government of the Philippines apologize over the incident first before talking about reconciliation.

Hung Tzu-chien (洪慈綪), the daughter of slain fisherman, Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成), said her family was reached by the Philippines through a lawyer about reconciliation, but she was not clear whether the lawyer was sent by the Philippine government.

Although the Philippines has agreed to offer compensation, the family of the victim insisted on a public apology first, she said.

She said they have not thought about the amount of compensation because the Philippines has yet to apologize.

However, the family was asked by their own lawyer to collect information relating to their losses, the cost of repairing the stricken fishing boat and Hung Shih-cheng’s funeral.

“As long as the family can accept the conditions offered by the Philippines, we are happy to see them settle the case,” Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Hu Hsing-hua (胡興華) said.

Hu said that while Taiwan respects the Philippines’ administrative efficiency, he hoped that Manila would release its investigation report as soon as possible.

In response to the possibility of holding a preparatory meeting to pave the way for fishery talks between the two countries, Hu said it might take place in the second half of this month.

More than a month ago, the two sides completed their respective investigations on the May 9 attack, in which Taiwanese fishing boat the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28 was shot at numerous times by a Philippine patrol vessel while operating in the overlapping economic zones of the two countries.