• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 9:47am

Philippines admits coastguard fired at Taiwanese fishing boat

Taiwan expresses outrage after Filipino coastguard admits firing at unarmed vessel

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 May, 2013, 12:29pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 May, 2013, 4:57am

The Philippines yesterday admitted that its coastguard fired at a Taiwanese fishing boat on Thursday, but said the action took place within its waters and that it had no idea it had killed one of the four crewmen on the boat.

The shooting triggered public outrage on the island and intensified tensions over territorial disputes around the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, claimed wholly or in part by the mainland, Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.

An angry Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou condemned the Philippine government over the attack, which saw coastguard personnel aboard a Filipino surveillance vessel fire at the unarmed Taiwanese fishing boat in waters 170 nautical miles off the southernmost tip of Taiwan.

The shooting took place in the Bashi Channel, about midway between southern Taiwan and the northern Philippines, in their overlapping exclusive economic zones.

"No country should use force against an unarmed fishing boat … and foreign officials can at most board a fishing boat for inspection," Ma told reporters.

Describing the shooting as "uncivilised acts," Ma said the machine-gun shots by the surveillance vessel left more than 30 bullet holes on the vessel, killing the 65-year-old fisherman, Hung Shih-cheng.

In addition to an apology, Ma said Taiwan's foreign ministry had asked the Philippine government to punish those involved, pay compensation and ensure the tragedy was not repeated.

"We demand that the Philippines pursue the incident to the end, and we will not stop our pursuit until the issue is properly resolved," Ma said.

Taiwan's foreign ministry summoned the Philippines' representative in Taipei, Antonio Basilio, to demand an explanation and express the anger of Ma's government over the Philippines' use of force against an unarmed fishing boat. Basilio later offered "sincerest condolences and apologies" to the fisherman's family. Taipei and Manila do not have formal diplomatic ties.

Mainland Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing would keep a close eye on developments, adding that it was "strongly concerned about the Philippines' repeated use of force against unarmed fishermen".

Manila agreed yesterday to investigate, while pledging increased efforts to prevent further incursions into its territorial waters. Asis Perez, director of the Philippines' Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, was quoted by Reuters as saying that the fishing boat tried to ram the 30-metre surveillance boat.

"We sympathise with the family of the fisherman who died and we assure them as well as the government of Taiwan of a transparent and impartial investigation."

The shooting dominated the Taiwanese media yesterday, with condemnation of the "barbaric act", echoing a statement on Thursday night by the spokesman for the mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office, Yang Yi .

Taiwanese lawmakers also lashed out at the Philippines for allowing its coastguard to repeatedly harass Taiwanese fishermen, including the killing of another fisherman in 2006.

Additional reporting by Raissa Robles in Manila


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Carioca no Coracao
Philippines must pay for this. how about boycott Philippines as a tourist destination? how about banning Filip maids for one year....
An unarmed Taiwanese fisherman was killed by Philippine government terrorists. Filipinos invented whatever story and excuse they wanted to justify their murderous execution. The unarmed Taiwanese fisherman is dead and can't tell his side of the story.
The defenseless 65-year-old Taiwanese fisherman was north of the Taiwan-Philippine midpoint line when he was brutally murdered by Philippine government terrorists.
Typical Filipino bungling ...... shoot first ask questions later
No wonder third world .....
Taiwan doesn't get it...they should send in navies to routinely patrol the area of dispute.. not for the sake of trying to aggravate the situation but to alert the other party that they will not tolerate this kind of shoot first and deny and talk later attitude.
we sympathize for the dead of the fisherman but we do not apologize for our action from the philipines side is really asking for trouble. best that Aquino silence these over zealous comrades ....
We should ban them from the parks, that way there's less copulation for some of the other losers...
Typical of Taiwan failing yet again to protect its fishermen, well dont blame your fishermen for putting up a PRC flag for protection when out at sea.
WEll how it started is pretty much the same scenarios where that Filipinos navy were sent out to chase unarmed chinese fishing vessels, the only difference is, the PRC sent boats to protect them... oo yeah and then with the media spin of Free China Bashing press they manage to turn it to Big Red China bullying Philippine. Well what a crude awakening isn't it. Wonder how the Free Press is going to spin it yet again, well your kind of hypocrites certainly give them many justifiable reasons.
Carioca no Coracao
Taiwan thought she can do it alone in south china sea, signed a deal with japan on Diaoyu and showed a middle finger to china in the process ...until she got slapped in the face by our friends in the Philippines.
What I see here is so much racism, over-reacting, raw Chinese nationalism. People should first try to know the real facts, then draw conclusions. Chinese and other fishing boats have been entering waters where they should not be, refuse checking and then complain if something happens. It seems the boat was in between Philippine islands. Some of the hot heads here forgot about the Chinese boat captured some weeks ago with their cargo of wildlife? I do not approve the killing nor the heavy machine gun firing, but an investigation should come first.
One year is too little..............ban the maids for at least 10 years and let them face poverty back home...........



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