• Sat
  • Dec 27, 2014
  • Updated: 6:01am

Philippines refuses to apologise as fisherman's body returns to Taiwan

Manila refuses to apologise over fatal shootingof crew member by Philippine coastguard vessel

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 May, 2013, 4:38pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 May, 2013, 6:13am

A fishing trawler that was fired on by the Philippines' coastguard limped back to Taiwan yesterday, riddled with more than 50 bullet holes and carrying the body of a 65-year-old crew member.

However, Manila refused to apologise to Taipei, saying the incident happened when the coast-guard vessel acted in self-defence to avoid being rammed while tackling "illegal fishing".

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday the island would not rule out possible sanctions against Manila.

"We will seek justice for our fisherman. We will not rule out the possibility of taking any kind of sanctions [against the Philippines]," Ma said while inspecting a coastguard drill in central Taiwan. "The Philippines shot an unarmed fishing boat.

"This was a brutal and cold-blooded act," he added.

Ma reiterated Taipei's demand for Manila to apologise, apprehend the killer and offer compensation.

Some Taiwanese lawmakers urged the government to freeze the hiring of Philippine workers in protest at the shooting.

Manila admitted on Friday that its coastguard had fired on a Taiwanese trawler the previous day, but said the action took place inside its own territorial waters and that it had no idea it had killed 65-year-old Hung Shih-cheng, one of four crew members aboard.

Taiwanese investigators counted 52 bullet holes on the boat, while it was confirmed that Hung had died after being shot in the neck. The trawler came under fire from heavy machine guns, Taipei's official Central News Agency reported.

Abigail Valte, a spokeswoman for Philippine President Benigno Aquino, and coastguard chief Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena said in Manila that their patrol boat "was forced to fire the shots because the [Taiwanese] fishing vessel attempted to ram them".

However, this was denied by the victim's son and trawler captain, Hung Yu-chih, who said the Philippine vessel opened fire without warning.

Additional reporting by Associated Press


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This article is now closed to comments

Carioca no Coracao
taiwan is so "smart" closing a solo deal with Japan on Diaoyu. now the Philippines slapped them on the face..who's your daddy now?! say it!!!
Are you really that stupid? The fishermen were operating in waters overlapped by both Taiwanese and Pinoy borders. Moreover, you do not continue shooting at innocent civilians when they are running away. In typical tradition, user 'denxioy' shows how brain-washed and ignorant pinoys are when it comes to anything.
According to 2010 Rizal Park Hostage-taking Incident and this event, I think Philippine Government don't respect human life at all.
We care lives, we don't limit births. These fishermen (poachers?) are illegally fishing on our waters. We won't shot if there's no provocation. DUh?
Are you really that stupid? The fishermen were operating in waters overlapped by both Taiwanese and Pinoy borders. Moreover, you do not continue shooting at innocent civilians when they are running away. Such a typical brain-washed pinoy. I wonder if this is a result of poor education as a university degree from the Philippines is only equal to a high school diploma in the rest of the world.
How does caring lives correlated to limiting births? It is just as likely that limiting births provides better care for children due to limited income and resources available. Have you ever wondered why the Philippines is as poor as it is? For your information, the GDP of the Philippines is $224.75 Billion. The GDP of Hong Kong is $248.61 Billion. However, the population of the Philippines is 94,852,030. Very successfull eh?? So you guys suck and then you throw a fit by going around shooting innocent civilians. Get a life and get educated.
taiwan did not have trouble with Japan because Taiwan knows they cannot outrun a strong country with good coast guard ships. Whereas, those taiwan fishermen thought they can get away with illegal fishing bec they know Phil enforcement capability is not as good as Japan's. i bet they got away with illegal fishing so many times before, this is the only time Phil coast guard was almost able to catch them. Killing one of the fishermen was unfortunate, but this could have been avoided if the fishing boar agreed to be inspected.
So Philippines believes they can shoot people that are fishing if they don't want to be boarded by a foreign corrupt military?
Do you know nothing about Philippines? Based on experience and what I hear the fisherman was probably killed because he did not pay the bribe to the Philippines coast guard. This is pure and simple the thugs in the Philippines coast guard saying you better pay the bribes or we will kill you. That is why the connection to Somalia makes sense. people of Philippines are good but their government is amongst the most corrupt in the world.
Just looks at how the government treats the domestic helpers they send to HK. They ensure that they are already 7 months in debt to Philippine money lenders even before leavening the country. No one can deny this is done by the government. Any country that would want to stop it would. But because it walls their pockets with millions of $$s it goes ahead.
They were fishing within water that international law recognizes as being water that they could fish in. Please please please stop being a complete moron, if at all possible.
Have the Philippine Coastguard never heard of warning shots across the bow or were all 52 of them warning shots?
The "ramming scenario" is as believable as the Easter Bunny but even it were the case, how did they think small arms fire would stop the Taiwanese boat?
Yet another example of the Philippines armed forces "fire first - think later" attitude. Have they learnt nothing after the Manila bloodbath?
I am a Canadian resident of both countries. (I work in Taiwan and have an apartment here but I also have a condo in Manila near my son's high school.) I think the Philippine diplomats are being a bit obstinate. They should say something like "We apologize on behalf of the people responsible." I think that the Philippine Coast Guard has the right to fire on ships passing within a certain distance off the Philippine coast. However, there's the question of how far they were from the Taiwan coast. I had read in the newspaper that it was the Taiwan Coast Guard who escorted the fishing boat back to Taiwan and, if so, then there may be an overlap between the area the Philippine Coast Guard patrols and the Taiwan Coast Guard patrols. Could the Philippine Coast Guard crew have been confused about their location? Perhaps they should have waited until they were 20 kilometers off the Philippine coast as a fishing boat 80 kilometers out does not really present a clear and present danger to the Philippines and firing on a boat for "illegal fishing" seems a bit of an overreaction. I'm also not sure it was illegal as the southern tip of Taiwan to the Philippine Island of Batanes is only 218 kilometers. I think that means that the Taiwanese can legally sail right up to the Philippine coast and fish legally. I think the Philippines does owe Taiwan an apology. Perhaps the Philippine Coast Guard mistakenly thought it was a boat from Mainland China and that they had no business there.



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