Taiwan welcomes Philippines indictments
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-18 08:50 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Foreign Minister David Lin on Tuesday welcomed the indictments for homicide in the Philippines against eight officers widely accused of being responsible for the death of a Taiwanese fisherman.

Last May 9, the shooting of Hung Shih-cheng on his fishing trawler, the Kuang Ta Hsing No.28, touched off a diplomatic crisis, with Taiwan issuing sanctions against its southern neighbor.

The officers on the Filipino government vessel initially claimed the Taiwanese vessel had tried to ram them and they were only shooting in self-defense to try and turn it away.

Eight officers were charged with homicide, while two of them also faced indictments for obstruction of justice. Commander Arnold dela Cruz and another crew member were accused of preparing and submitting a falsified gun report. The Philippines Department of Justice spoke of a conspiracy.

The incident happened at a location about 164 nautical miles southeast of Taiwan’s southernmost tip, in an area where the exclusive economic zones of both countries overlap.

Public reaction in Taiwan turned to anger when officials in Manila said they felt sympathy for Hung’s family but would not apologize for the incident. Investigators said the shooting did not happen in Philippine territorial waters and therefore the shooting was totally without legal basis.

Taiwan initiated sanctions, including a freeze on the recruitment of more Filipino workers and domestic employees, and the recall of diplomats.

Tuesday’s indictments completed Manila’s compliance with all of Taiwan’s demands, Lin reportedly said.

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