Taiwanese fishermen told to attend sea shooting probe-A A +A
Sunday, September 1, 2013
THE Department of Justice (DOJ) asked companions of slain Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng to attend the preliminary investigation on the criminal raps against 10 Philippine Coast Guard personnel in relation to the May 9 incident off Batanes.
DOJ said Hong Yu Zhi, Hong Jie Zhang and Imam Buchaeri have to subscribe and swear to their affidavits at 2 p.m. of September 9 as “offended parties and witnesses” in the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) last month.
The summonses were delivered to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco) in Makati City through the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco), the Philippines’ de facto embassy in Taiwan.
The implicated Coast Guard personnel were also ordered to appear in the hearing of the three-man investigating panel.
Commander Arnold de la Cruz, Petty Officer 2 Richard Corpuz, Seaman 2nd Class Nicky Reynold Aurelio, and Seamen 1st Class Edrando Aguila, Mhelvin Bendo, Andy Gibb Golfo, Sunny Masangcay, and Henry Solomon face homicide charges.
Dela Cruz, Bendo, SN1 Marvin Ramirez and Lieutenant Junior Grade Martin Bernabe were charged with obstruction of justice for tampering the video footage of the shooting incident and falsified monthly gunnery reports to reflect a smaller amount of ammunition spent.
NBI hit the Coast Guard personnel for indiscriminate firing even if there was no solid proof that the Taiwanese fishing boat tried to ram the Philippine patrol craft that may pose danger to the lives of those onboard.
The PCG suspected the Taiwanese fishermen of poaching in Philippine waters. The incident took place some 40 nautical miles from the country's baselines and within the Philippines' 200-kilometer exclusive economic zone. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)