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March 31, 2017

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Court orders arrests over ROC fisherman shooting

MANILA -- A court in the Philippines issued arrest warrants for two officers from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Wednesday for obstruction of justice in relation to the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman last May.

The Cagayan Valley Municipal Trial Court Santa Anna branch issued the warrants for Coast Guard Commanding Officer Arnold De la Cruz and Seaman 1st Class Mhelvin Bendo, with bail set at 12,000 pesos (US$269.88).

Earlier in March, the Philippine Department of Justice filed homicide charges against eight PCG officers over the shooting death of Hung Shih-cheng last May 9.

De la Cruz and Bendo were also separately charged with obstruction of justice because the gunnery reports they submitted following the incident indicated that 36 rounds of ammunition were fired at the fishing boat, while the actual number was 108 bullets.

The eight suspects, who have been suspended from their positions, have asked the department to reconsider their indictments, claiming that Hung's shooting was in self-defense.

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