VP urges Manila to prosecute killers of fisherman
Central News Agency
2014-03-06 09:45 PM
Taipei, March 6 (CNA) Vice President Wu Den-yih urged former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos Thursday to help resolve a long-running maritime dispute started by the fatal shooting of a Taiwan fisherman by the Philippine coast guard. Though the diplomatic row over the killing of fisher Hung Shih-cheng last May has largely been resolved, Wu told Ramos, who is visiting Taiwan, that the Republic of China government hopes the Philippines will honor a promise to prosecute the suspects -- a move Wu said would "greatly contribute to" a complete resolution. Hung, a fisherman aboard the Taiwanese boat Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28, died when Philippine coast guardsmen sprayed bullets at the boat in the sea where the two countries' exclusive economic zones overlap. In a bid to repair ties following the incident, Manila eventually agreed to Taipei's demand for an investigation and charges against the coast guard personnel at fault. But during his meeting with Ramos at the Presidential Office in Taipei, Wu said that Manila needs to do more to pursue the indictment of the suspects to ensure friendly relations can become closer. Ramos agreed that the two governments should work together to dispel the clouds hanging over bilateral ties in light of Taiwan's generous contribution to disaster relief after Super Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines last November. Ramos said he would make extra efforts to urge his government to bring the Kuang Ta Hsing shooting incident to a satisfactory conclusion. The killing last year sparked anger across Taiwan, forcing the government to bring out retaliatory measures including a suspension of employment visas to Philippine citizens and a freeze on cooperative projects between the two countries. The Philippines released the result of its National Bureau of Investigation's (NBI) inquiry into the incident on Aug. 7, 2013, which recommended homicide charges be brought up against eight Philippine coast guard personnel involved in the shooting and recommended sanctions against four others for allegedly trying to tamper with evidence. Taiwan subsequently lifted its sanctions against the Philippines and issued a statement announcing that the relations between the two countries have been normalized. (By Kelven Huang and S.C. Chang)
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