Philippines praised for charging coastguardsmen
By Joseph Yeh ,The China Post
March 19, 2014, 12:07 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan yesterday commended the decision made by the Philippine justice department earlier in the same day to file homicide charges against eight coastguardsmen over a Taiwanese fisherman's death last May.
Speaking during a press conference late yesterday, Foreign Minister David Lin (林永樂) said the R.O.C. Government expressed approval of the decision made by the Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ).
According to the information Taipei received from Manila, the DOJ has filed homicide charges against eight Philippine Coast Guard personnel in connection with the death of Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成), who was killed on May 9, 2013.
The DOJ also charged two of the eight coastguardsmen for obstruction of justice for allegedly preparing and submitting a falsified report following the shooting, Lin said.
“Justice has been dealt,” Lin said.
With the latest move, the minister noted that the Philippines authorities have met all four demands previously made by hte Taiwan government; namely, a formal apology, punishment of those responsible for the fatal shooting, compensation for the Hung family and the holding of bilateral fishery talks to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents.
Lin added that both sides will continue to engage in bilateral fishery talks in an effort to address fishing disputes in their overlapping waters in the future.
Bilateral relations will continue to move closer despite the incident, he added.
According to Taiwan's Ministry of Justice, the eight Philippine suspects charged with homicide are facing a maximum 21-year prison term under Philippine law.