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May 30, 2017

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Daughter of fisherman killed in overlapping EEZs to run for office

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The daughter of a Taiwanese fisherman who was killed by members of the Philippine coast guard in overlapping exclusive economic zones (EEZs) last year yesterday announced a bid to run for public office.

Hung Tzu-chien (洪慈綪), daughter of Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成) who was shot dead by Philippine coast guard personnel on May 9, 2013, yesterday announced her bid to run for councillor in her native southern Pingtung County (屏東縣).

The timing of her announcement coincided with the first year anniversary of her father's death.

In a post on her Facebook page yesterday, Hung, 43, made the announcement public.

Hung was thankful for the support Taiwanese people have given her family since the death of her father last year.

She said that in running for public office she intends to prevent a reoccurrence of such tragic incidents in the future and that she wants to serve as a spokesperson for Taiwanese fishermen.

"I will fight for the wellbeing of fishermen and their families in Pingtung and I promise I will do my best to prevent anything like the tragedy of my father's death happening again," Hung said in the post.

The Death of a Fisherman

On May 9, 2013, the elder Hung was shot dead when the coast guards sprayed his boat with bullets in the part of the South China Sea where the two countries' EEZs overlap.

The incident sparked national outrage in Taiwan, prompting the government to impose retaliatory measures including a freeze on the hiring of Filipino workers in Taiwan, a travel alert discouraging Taiwanese nationals from visiting the Philippines and suspending most exchange activities.

In August 2013, the Philippines released the results of its National Bureau of Investigation's inquiry into the incident, which recommended homicide charges be brought against the eight men involved in the shooting and that punishments be imposed on four others for allegedly trying to tamper with evidence.

Taiwan subsequently lifted its sanctions against the Philippines and issued a statement announcing that relations between the two countries have been normalized.

On March 18, 2014, the Philippines Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its decision to file homicide charges against the eight men over the death of Hung.

The eight Philippine suspects charged with homicide are facing a maximum 21-year prison term under Philippine law.

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