Home > News > Regional
Friday April 4, 2014 MYT 7:22:00 PM
Friday April 4, 2014 MYT 7:24:37 PM
MANILA: Eight Filipino coastguards have been charged with the murder of a Taiwanese fisherman who was shot dead last year sparking economic sanctions against the Philippines, authorities said Friday.
Coastguard patrol officers opened fire last May at a Taiwanese boat sailing close to the northern Philippine coast but in waters also claimed by Taiwan, killing 65-year-old fisherman Hung Shih-cheng.
The killing sparked angry protests in Taiwan and Taipei responded with sanctions, but lifted them after the Philippine government issued an official apology.
Homicide charges were formally filed in a northern Philippine court last week, the court's legal officer Jurgents Calling told AFP.
"The judge is still studying the information filed, but if he finds probable cause, he will issue warrants of arrest," Calling said.
Homicide is punishable by up to 20 years in jail in the Philippines.
Andrew Lin, director of the political division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Manila, welcomed the charges.
"We recognise that adequate action has been taken by the Philippine government with this development," Lin told AFP.
The coastguard officers had said the Taiwanese vessel was fishing illegally and they were forced to fire in self-defence as it tried to ram their patrol craft.
But prosecutor-general Claro Arellano told reporters the Filipinos' own rules of engagement did not automatically authorise the use of deadly force against a vessel deemed hostile.
During the investigation prosecutors viewed a Filipino coastguard video footage showing officers firing M-14 rifles and a mounted machine gun at the fleeing fishing boat. -AFP
Tags / Keywords:
Filipino coastguards, taiwanese Hung Shih cheng, murder
Bank officer killed after security guard runs amok
Man whose wife splashed acid on him dies
Chemist: Semen traces found on clerk killed in V-Day stabbing
Man who allegedly murdered fiancée nabbed at border
Cops seek help to find murder suspect
Battle with ‘ice’ in rural Australia
Asiana suspends Hiroshima flights for safety check
China building airstrip in disputed South China Sea
Suicide bomber kills 33 outside Afghan bank
Aquino determined to suppress anger
Terror arrests in Australia over planned Anzac Day attack
Popular items Chinese shoppers buy overseas
'Star Wars: Battlefront' trailer to arrive after years of anticipation
51-year-old woman has participated in numerous races internationally
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)