DOJ sets first hearing into sea shooting incident-A A +A
Thursday, August 29, 2013
HOMICIDE and obstruction of justice cases against Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel involved in the death of a Taiwanese fisherman last May will be heard for the first time by the Department of Justice (DOJ) next month.
Prosecutor General Claro Arellano said Thursday the preliminary investigation will start on September 9 at 2 p.m. The members of the investigating panel are Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Naverra, Alexander Suarez and Josie Christina Dugay.
Facing homicide cases were Commanding Officer Arnold dela Cruz, Seaman First Class (SN1) Mhelvin Bendo, SN2 Nicky Aurelio, SN1 Andy Gibb Golfo, SN1 Sunny Masangcay, Petty Officer 2 Richard Corpuz and SN1 Edrando Aguila, who shot and killed 65-year-old fisherman Hung Shih-cheng.
Dela Cruz, Bendo, SN1 Marvin Ramirez and Lieutenant Junior Grade Martin Bernabe were charged with obstruction of justice for tampering with the video footage of the shooting incident and falsified monthly gunnery reports to reflect a smaller amount of ammunition spent.
The Taiwanese fishermen were suspected of poaching in Philippine waters as the incident caused tension between Manila and Taipei, which imposed sanctions including a halt to the hiring of Filipino workers for three months.
The sanctions were lifted soon after the Philippine government determined the coast guards' fault and apologized for the shooting spree off Batanes. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)