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Philippine leader calls for calm over shooting incident

MANILA -- Philippine President Benigno Aquino called for calm Monday amid an escalating dispute with Taiwan over the death of a Taiwanese fisherman in a confrontation with the Filipino coastguard.

Aquino said Manila's de facto embassy in Taiwan was in talks with Taiwanese foreign ministry officials and had assured them an investigation was being carried out into last week's incident.

“I think it is in the interest of both parties to proceed in a calm basis,” Aquino told reporters. “We are proceeding in that manner.”

The Philippine coastguard admitted on Friday to firing at one of four Taiwanese fishing vessels that it said had strayed into the country's waters. A 65-year-old Taiwanese fisherman died in the confrontation.

Aquino declined to comment on demands by Taiwan at the weekend for his government to apologize for the shooting and pay compensation to the victim's family, or face a freeze of hiring on the island of Filipinos.

There are about 87,000 Philippine domestic helpers and other workers in Taiwan who send home hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Taiwan also sent four coastguard and naval vessels on the weekend to protect its fishermen in waters near the Philippines.

The Philippine government said on Sunday that Antonio Basilio, head of the Philippines' defacto embassy in Taiwan, had visited the family of the fisherman and “extended condolences and apologies”.

Aquino said he did not want to comment further, preferring to let diplomats handle the dispute.

“If we comment on that (at the presidential) level, we guarantee the issue will escalate,” Aquino said.

May 14, 2013    supotpinoy@
They are Catholics, and yet they lie and kill!
May 14, 2013    carlos.segovia33@
supotpinoy@ wrote:
They are Catholics, and yet they lie and kill!
Not all are Catholics. There are other religions too. Why should you drag Catholics and religion into this? All faithful of all world religions kill even their own people, like in Taiwan, which still has the death penalty. For your information, a Filipino surnamed Burgos was executed-about 20 years ago- in Taiwan for robbery and murder...!
May 14, 2013    gilbert@
"They are Catholics, and yet they lie and kill!"

ALL religions and ALL atheists alike lie and kill. Can't you find a more intelligent remark if you really insist on insulting the Philippine people?
May 14, 2013    lightcrusaderjr@
supotpinoy@ wrote:
They are Catholics, and yet they lie and kill!
Do you know how many Filipino workers have been killed, raped, falsely accused and exploited here in Taiwan? Yet, is Buddhism being blamed for those crimes? The crime of one or a few is not the crime of an entire people. All peoples and nations have their own shares of rotten eggs. Unless we want to be among them, we should strive to be truthful and fair to other people, no matter what their color, beliefs or creeds are.
May 15, 2013    Trumpcard_2000@
supotpinoy@ wrote:
They are Catholics, and yet they lie and kill!
Yes, but [...] it is a cultural thing, to them, it is not lying, just telling stories that are not factual.
May 15, 2013    WWLee5@
supotpinoy@ wrote:
They are Catholics, and yet they lie and kill!
So...what's your point?
May 16, 2013    piawliangjohny@
Aquino was too busy for his vote? How about his people in Taiwan? There are 87,000 Filipino workers here how can he forget us? They were called heroes. They remit money that makes Philippines now stable. I say if the Taiwan wants to wage a war with the Philippines.. GO...but they must start at The Presidential Palace. We do not care. The people elected him to guide his people for better living and have peaceful country.
May 16, 2013    edrulyn@
@Supotpinoy...please don’t post this kind of comment here. It only shows how low your education is [...].
May 18, 2013    sebgar45@
piawliangjohny@ wrote:
Aquino was too busy for his vote? How about his people in Taiwan? There are 87,000 Filipino workers here how can he forget us? They were called heroes. They remit money that makes Philippines now stable. I say if the Taiwan wants to wage a war with the Philippines.. GO...but they must start at The Presidential Palace. We do not care. The people elected him to guide his people for better living and have peaceful country.
Not a very responsible response. Think before you say anything that you might regret later. This unfortunate incident is not about politics. It’s about a man who got killed for reasons that are not yet clear. So think, think, think. Mentioning "war" is so stupid!
May 20, 2013    supotpinoy@
edrulyn@ wrote:
@Supotpinoy...please don’t post this kind of comment here. It only shows how low your education is [...].
AT LEAST I'M NOT ILLITERATE & SLAVES.
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 Fishermen demand apology in front of Philippine envoy 
This picture of a TV broadcast shows Philippines President Benigno Aquino III talking after he cast his vote in Philippines midterm elections on Monday, May 13. (CNA)

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