Taiwan probers: Fisherman murdered
(The Philippine Star) - May 18, 2013 - 3:42pm

MANILA, Philippines - A team of investigators from Taiwan on Saturday alleged that Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) "murdered" a Taiwanese fisherman off Batanes last week.

"It clearly shows that the Philippine law enforcers were intentionally shooting the Guang Ta Hsin 28 crew members, which indicates their intent of murder," said Chen Wen-Chi, head of the Taiwan probe team, at a press conference in Makati City.

Chen said that based on their findings, the bullets fired by the PCG personnel hit the Taiwanese fishing boat's cocpit, where its crew were hiding.

The Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-Chen, 65, was killed in the shooting.

The Taiwanese probe team also insisted that the fishing boat was within Taiwan's exclusive economic zone, which contradicts claims by the Philippines.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, meanwhile, declined to respond to the findings of Chen's team.

"We will not respond... We do not want to escalate things any further," Valte said.

She said that all statements regarding the incident should come from the National Bureau of Investigation, which has been tasked to conduct an independent investigation on the incident.

Earlier reports said that the Philippine team probing the incident has initially found that the PCG personnel involved in the incident could have been acting on self defense, but they may have violated certain rules of engagement.

Meanwhile, Valte reiterated the Philippines' rejection of Taiwan's request for a joint probe on the incident.

"I think the Secretary of Justice has answered this already... The secretary has said that it's not possible," Valte said.

Valte also reiterated the Philippines’ call to Taiwanese to spare Filipino workers in Taiwan from the issue.

“They are [in Taiwan] to work. They are not there to make trouble,” she said.

There is a total of 85,185 Filipino workers in Taiwan and more than half of the number are factory workers.

CHEN CHEN WEN-CHI DEPUTY PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABIGAIL VALTE GUANG TA HSIN HUNG SHIH-CHEN MAKATI CITY NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD SECRETARY OF JUSTICE VALTE
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