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  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 8:51pm
NewsChina
MARITIME INCIDENT

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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martinphipps3
This was not their error, however.
robaston
No they were south of islands in Batanes province, far far closer to the Philippines than to Taiwan and within the EEZ of Taiwan according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Question is what would the Taiwanese or Chinese coast guard have done if a foreign ship comes to their shores, illegally fishes and then attacks a law enforcement vessel? Double standards.
achiang
Did you fail middle school math? The fishermen were shot in the intersecting area of Taiwan and Pinoyland's exclusive economic zone. There was no stealing involved.
On a different note, why are there suddenly so many Pinoy sympathizers on SCMP? Have they all suddenly subscribed?
babyhenry
Because those murderous pinoy's thugs are trying to steal from them...
HK-Explorer
Are you really so simple that you really think the ship was going to ram. Of course the Philippine boat went in front of the Taiwan bot to stop their progress. A military boat would be much faster than a fishing boat. They could have got out of the way,
caractacus
The full facts are not yet clear, but this seems to be a result of Taiwan's government allowing itself to be used as a cat's paw by China, whose bidding it is following in these island disputes. Clearly fishing vessels are being encouraged to push the limits of the territorial waters of the the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam to test their resolve in protecting their sovereignty. The people of Taiwan must be vigilant about their own government's collusion with the mainland PRC. At the end of the day it's all about economics and the Taiwan business elite are becoming gradually corrupted by the influence of China. They will eventually sell out the population of Taiwan for profit, and this is precisely China's purpose. The PRC government has obviously been been studying the ways of divide and rule of the ancient imperialist regime.
Watch out the rest of Asia.
achiang
The "ancient imperialist regime" of China was never an expansionist one. Idiot.
ninjahenyo
except you miss the fact that the philippines is now the second fastest growing economy next to china while taiwan's economy is stagnating.
achiang
Your "ECONOMY" is smaller than HONG KONG's! BTW the countries with the highest economic growth last year were: Libya, Sierra Leone, ****, ..., Afghanistan. Do you see a pattern? Undeveloped countries generally enjoy faster economic growth in the beginning. Pinoys really like showing their national pride don't they? How come you guys are so utterly incapable of acknowledging your own faults? Do you remember Rizal Park? Who was at fault there huh?
digistamps
i think the killing was not intentional. if they tried to kill the fishermen, then more would have been wounded, or the man would have been hit more times. in case the taiwan fish boat was able to ram the coast guard ship, more people would have died. i guess taiwan will never admit to fishing illegally even if found to be true

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